The New York Mets came to contract agreements with two more starting pitchers and a cornerstone outfielder on Friday, with Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz, and Michael Conforto all agreeing to one-year contracts, thus avoiding arbitration.
Wheeler, 28, agreed to a one-year, $5.975 million deal, as per Mark Bowman of MLB.com. The Georgia native earned $1.9 million in 2018, his second arbitration-eligible season.
Over 29 starts, Wheeler pitched to a 12-7 record and set career-highs with his 3.31 earned-run average, 3.25 fielding independent pitching rating, 3.25 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, 1.124 WHIP, and 111 ERA+ rating, with 179 strikeouts in 182.1 innings and a career-low 2.7 walks per nine innings.
Matz, 27, came to terms on a one-year, $2.625 million deal, earning a considerable raise from the $577,000 he made in 2018, as per Mike Puma of the New York Post.
The left-handed Long Island native had an up-and-down 2018, finishing the season with a 3.97 ERA over 30 starts (154 innings; both career-highs) with 152 strikeouts, 58 walks, a 4.62 FIP, 1.247 WHIP, and a 93 ERA+ rating.
The team’s last remaining arbitration-eligible player without a contract in place for 2019, Michael Conforto, came to an agreement on a one-year, $4.025 million deal on Friday as well, again confirmed by Mike Puma of the New York Post.
The 25-year-old outfielder made $605,094 in 2018 and was heading into his first arbitration-eligible season. After undergoing major shoulder surgery in September 2017, Conforto returned to the Mets in early-April, well before most had him pegged to rejoin the team.
The left-handed hitter hit .243/.350/.448 last year setting career-highs in home runs (28), runs batted in (82), and doubles (25), with a 124 OPS+ rating over 153 games (638 plate appearances).
After a slow start to the year (.216/.344/.366, 11 home runs, 30 RBI, .266 BABIP, 80 OPS+ in 346 plate appearances), the Washingtonian slashed .273/.356/.539 in the second half of the season (292 plate appearances), with 17 dingers, 52 RBI, a .315 BABIP, and 122 OPS+ rating.
The Mets avoided arbitration with the front-end of their rotation earlier on Friday, with reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom agreeing to a one-year, $17 million deal and Noah Syndergaard settling on a $6.0 million deal. They came to terms with catcher Travis d’Arnaud last month at $3.15 million for 2019.
The Mets will not go to arbitration with any players this year.