Friday was the final day that teams and players could exchange arbitration numbers. It was a busy one as the Mets were able to avoid arbitration with nine of their 10 arb-eligible players. excluding Zack Wheeler.
Signees include ace Jacob deGrom (7.4 million), young stud Noah Syndergaard (2.9 million) and embattled starter Matt Harvey (5.625 million). Wilmer Flores (3.4 million), Travis d’Arnaud (3.475 million), Jeurys Familia (7.9 million), AJ Ramos (9.225 million), and Hansel Robles (900k) also agreed to deals.
As mentioned above, Zack Wheeler remains the only Met unsigned. Since the Mets are one of the few teams that employ a “file-and-trial” approach, Wheeler will debate his 2018 salary in front of an independent arbitrator in early February. The Mets filed at 1.9 million dollars, while Wheeler countered at 1.5 million dollars.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reveals that the Mets are considering a reunion with former first baseman Lucas Duda. Duda hit .217/.322/.496 in 2017 and is currently seventh on the Mets all-time home run list.
According to James Wagner of the New York Times, the Mets have hired their first-ever high performance director, Jim Cavallini. Cavallini will incorporate biometrics in the Mets training system, which he hopes will limit the amount of injuries that the team suffers.
The Reds signed Ben Rowen to a minor league deal. Rowen pitched for the Las Vegas 51s in 2017 and appeared in a team-high 54 games.
NL East News
The Marlins signed right-hander Jumbo Diaz to a minor-league contract. Despite impressive velocity last year, Diaz was torched for 19 earned runs in 31 innings with the Rays.
The Nationals and Phillies agreed to contracts with all of their arb-eligible players. However, the Marlins have yet to come to terms with Justin Bour, J.T. Realmuto or Dan Straily. The Braves have only one arbitration case remaining in Mike Foltynewicz.
Around the Majors
Kris Bryant and Josh Donaldson both agreed on record-breaking deals. This was Bryant’s first trip through arbitration and the Cubs generously offered him a record for a first-arb player, $10.8 million dollars. Josh Donaldson and the Blue Jays agreed to a $23 million dollar deal, which gives him the distinction as the highest-paid player in a one-year deal in arbitration history.
Other noteworthy players who agreed to deals with their teams are Rockies superstar Charlie Blackmon (14 million), Pirates ace Gerrit Cole (6.75 million), Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel (13.2 million) and Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (16 million).
However, many players decided to take their case to an arbitration hearing. Notable names such as Mookie Betts, George Springer and Scooter Gennett couldn’t agree to a suitable contract and will either negotiate an agreement with their teams before their hearing or settle their argument before an independent arbitrator in early February.
According to Alex Speier of The Boston Globe, Red Sox owner, Tom Werner, recently met with agent Scott Boras. He represents one of the Red Sox’s top targets, J.D. Martinez. Despite the meeting, talks have still not advanced.
Michael Trezza argues that the Mets must invest in more pitching to compete in 2018.
This Date on Mets history
1986 World series hero Kevin Mitchell turns 56 today.