The Mets tendered contracts to all eight of their arbitration-eligible players.
The list includes ace Matt Harvey, first baseman Lucas Duda, closer Jeurys Familia, and reliever Addison Reed, all of whom were virtual locks to be tendered.
The Mets also retained shortstop Ruben Tejada and reliever Jenrry Mejia, both of whom had been on the bubble. Additionally, the Mets kept control of relievers Carlos Torres and Josh Edgin.
Mejia will return despite two positive PED tests that cost him much of 2015 and a portion of 2016. The infractions drew the ire of teammates and team officials.
Tejada’s future had also been debated within the organization. He’s expected to be ready for spring training after suffering a broken leg on Chase Utley’s takeout slide during the NLDS.
Tendering all eight players will cost the Mets roughly $27 million, according to salary projections from MLBTR.com.
Duda ($6.8 million) and Reed ($5.7 million) lead the pack, followed by Harvey ($4.7 million), Familia ($3.3 million), Tejada ($2.5 million), Torres ($800,000) and Edgin ($600,000). Mejia is projected to make $2.6 million, though he’ll make only a portion of that because his 162-game suspension runs into 2016.
Bench coach Bob Geren is leaving the Mets to accept the same job with the Dodgers, an industry source confirmed on Wednesday. Fox Sports was first to report the hiring.
Geren, 54, joined the Mets coaching staff in 2012. The former big league catcher worked extensively with Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.
Geren also brought a strong working knowledge of analytics, providing manager Terry Collins with an alternative voice in the dugout.
Geren managed the Athletics from 2007 before his firing during the 2011 season. He interviewed with the Dodgers managerial opening but lost out to Dave Roberts. Now, he will serve as Roberts’ top lieutenant in the dugout.
Though it’s a lateral move on paper, the change brings Geren closer his Southern California roots. Both his family and his wife’s family hail from the region.
It’s unclear how the Mets will fill their bench coach opening. Triple-A manager Wally Backman is unlikely to be in the running.
Ben Zobrist remains the Mets’ most prominent free-agent target, though heavy interest in the versatile switch-hitter has reportedly prompted him to personally sift through his suitors.
Zobrist is visiting with East Coast teams this week, according to ESPN. In addition to the Mets, interested teams reportedly include the Nationals, Braves, Cubs and Cardinals.
Zobrist is also reportedly expected to meet with the Dodgers and Giants.
According to Yahoo Sports, Zobrist is seeking a contract in the four-year, $60-million range, a figure that would stretch the Mets’ payroll.
Mariners agree with Aoki
Seattle agreed to a one-year contract with outfielder Nori Aoki, according to two people with knowledge of the deal. Aoki was limited to 93 games with San Francisco because of a broken right leg and a severe concussion in the second half of the season. Seattle also agreed to a $750,000 deal with reliever Justin De Fratus, who became a free agent after the season rather than accept an outright assignment to the minors by the Phillies.
Orioles get Trumbo
Baltimore added a bat as protection in case it loses Chris Davis, acquiring power-hitting Mark Trumbo and lefthander C.J. Riefenhausen from Seattle for catcher Steve Clevenger . . . Oakland obtained first baseman Yonder Alonso and lefthander Marc Rzepczynski from San Diego for lefthanders Drew Pomeranz and Jose Torres plus a player to be named. In addition, the Padres announced they hired Mark McGwire as bench coach, and the A’s did not offer a contract to first baseman Ike Davis.
Phillies get Bourjos
Philadelphia claimed outfielder Peter Bourjos off waivers from St. Louis, and Kansas City acquired backup catcher Tony Cruz from St. Louis for infielder Jose Martinez. Veteran infielder Gordon Beckham, an Atlanta native and former University of Georgia standout, agreed to a $1.25 million, one-year contract with the Braves, pending a physical . . . Among others who became free agents when they were not offered contracts were injured Kansas City closer Greg Holland; Detroit righthanders Neftali Feliz and Al Alburquerque; White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers and righthander Jacob Turner; and Cincinnati righthander Ryan Mattheus. Arbitration-eligible players who agreed to one-year deals were Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis ($4.5 million), Toronto first baseman Justin Smoak ($3.9 million), Baltimore righthander Vance Worley ($2.6 million), Oakland lefthander Felix Doubront ($2 million), Cubs lefthander Rex Brothers ($1.42 million) and Washington first baseman Tyler Moore ($900,000). — AP