Mets agree to one-year contracts with trio
Club swaps arbitration figures with first baseman Duda
NEW YORK -- On Major League Baseball's designated day for teams to exchange salary figures with their arbitration-eligible players, the Mets agreed to terms on new one-year deals with closer Bobby Parnell, starting pitcher Dillon Gee and second baseman Daniel Murphy, according to a source, and swapped figures with first baseman Lucas Duda.
Parnell's deal is $3.7 million and Murphy's weighs in at $5.7 million, with incentives embedded in each. Gee's contract is for $3.625 million. The club has yet to confirm the deals.
Earlier this week, the Mets avoided arbitration by agreeing to new one-year deals with shortstop Ruben Tejada, first baseman Ike Davis and outfielder Eric Young Jr.
In his first year as the Mets' full-time closer, Parnell, 29, saved 22 games in 26 chances before undergoing season-ending surgery to replace a herniated disc in his neck. Parnell, who expects to be fully healthy by Opening Day, made $1.7 million last year. His new deal includes a $50,000 bonus if he appears in 60 games.
Murphy, 28, set career highs last season with 13 homers, 23 steals and 697 plate appearances, but his batting average (.286) and on-base percentage (.319) both regressed. Murphy made $2.9 million last season in his first year of arbitration, and will earn an additional $50,000 this year if he accumulates 500 plate appearances.
If the Mets cannot negotiate a new contract with Duda, they will go to a hearing in February. But that is unlikely; the Mets have gone to trial just once in the past 22 years, with Oliver Perez in 2008. At hearings, an independent arbiter listens to arguments from both sides and chooses either the player's requested salary or the team's. There is no middle ground at a hearing.
In total, the Mets' seven arbitration-eligible players are slated to make north of $20 million this season, representing between one-fifth and one-quarter of the team's projected payroll.