The Mets avoided arbitration with every eligible player not named Wilmer Flores on Friday — and yes, that includes Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom.
In a huge, if expected, reversal of fortunes, deGrom, who refused to sign his $607,000 contract out of protest last year, got the payday he was looking for before Friday afternoon’s deadline, settling with the Mets on a one-year, $4.05-million base salary, according to an ESPN report. The deal reportedly includes performance bonuses, so the full value of the contract is unclear.
Harvey, who made $4.325 million in a year that was beset by injury and eventually resulted in season-ending surgery to correct his thoracic outlet syndrome, will make $5.125 million, with $100,000 in performance bonuses, according to a report in the New York Times. Harvey struggled last year, going 4-10, with a career-worst 4.86 ERA, and had trouble with his arm slot and release point before eventually discovering the root problem that ended his season.
Neither contract, though, matched the big signing of the day: Addison Reed, the reliable setup man who provided consistency to a patently inconsistent bullpen last year, took in $7.75 million.
Flores, who made $526,014 last year, apparently will leave his fate in the hands of an arbitrator. The nine other players up for arbitration came to terms. General manager Sandy Alderson previously told ESPN that it would be a hard deadline, and the Mets would not negotiate after it passed.
DeGrom, 28, was 7-8 with a 3.04 ERA last year, but battled elbow discomfort that eventually led to surgery on his ulnar nerve. He was 14-8 with a 0.979 WHIP in 2015 and finished seventh in Cy Young voting, a year after winning Rookie of the Year.
Other than Reed, the other big contract went to Jeurys Familia, who agreed to $7.375 million, according to published reports. Friday also heralded deals for Travis d’Arnaud and Josh Edgin, both confirmed by the team. D’Arnaud is slated to make $1.875 million, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. It’s still uncertain how much Edgin will make, though the lefty was projected at around $800,000 — $175,000 more than he made last year.
Reed made $5.3 million last year, and d’Arnaud made just above the league minimum. Familia made $4.1 million last season, though his new salary will take a hit if he is suspended under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy after an alleged altercation with his wife last October. Familia set a franchise record last year, converting 52 straight regular-season save opportunities spanning two seasons and pitching to a 2.55 ERA; his 51 saves were tops in baseball in 2016. Despite that, the playoffs have been a bugaboo for him. He blew three saves in the World Series in 2015 and gave up a game-winning home run in the wild-card game against the Giants last year.
Reed, 28, had a 1.97 ERA in 80 appearances, with a career-best 0.940 WHIP. He was first in the majors with 40 holds — 10 more than the next reliever, the Indians’ Andrew Miller.
On the other side of the spectrum is Edgin, who likely will have to fight for his spot in the bullpen after spending various parts of last year with Triple-A Las Vegas. In 16 appearances with the big club, he was 1-0 with a 5.23 ERA in 10 1⁄3 innings.
D’Arnaud turns 28 next month and is coming off a disappointing season. He had a slash line of .247/.307/.323 in 75 games and consistently lost playing time to Rene Rivera down the stretch. The Mets are hoping for similar production to d’Arnaud’s 2015 campaign, in which he batted .268, with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs in only 67 games. He’s also one of the best pitch framers in baseball, according to FanGraphs, though he’s slightly below average when it comes to throwing out base-stealers. He threw out 22 percent last year (the league average is around 29 percent), and has averaged 23 percent in his career.
The Mets clearly had every intention of betting on d’Arnaud after passing on Matt Wieters in free agency, despite the fact that d’Arnaud has suffered from injuries for the majority of his career. D’Arnaud had a broken hand and a sprained elbow in 2015, and strained his rotator cuff last year.