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Mets offer arbitration to Mota, Hernandez

The deadline for offering arbitration to a team's new free agent class passed yesterday and the Mets elected to offer arbitration to relievers Guillermo Mota and Roberto Hernandez. Hernandez is a Type A free agent (!), which means that if he signs elsewhere the Mets receive that team's best available draft pick as well as a first round sandwich pick awarded by the league. Mota is a Type B free agent, and the Mets would be awarded a first round sandwich pick should another team sign him away. Mota will miss the first 50 games of the 2007 season while he serves his suspension as a result of testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.

The Mets declined to offer arbitration to Steve Trachsel and Cliff Floyd, neither of which figured into their 2007 plans. Floyd has drawn interest in several American League teams looking to play him primarily as a designated hitter. Trachsel can take a short walk off a long pier.

There's not much risk in offering arbitration to Mota and Hernandez. I think the Mets have genuine interested in resigning Mota, even though he won't be available until midway through May. Neither pitcher would cost a lot in arbitration (side note: it would be interesting to see if and how the PED rap would affect Mota's arbitration leverage. Further, one has to suspect that the fact that he'd only be eligible for 112 of the team's games if that would further impede his bargaining power), and both are still serviceable-to-good relievers.

I think the ideal situation would be for Hernandez to sign elsewhere, allowing the Mets to cash in on those draft picks for an otherwise average relief pitcher, and to resign Mota with the hope that he will keep himself in shape and be ready to go at the end of May.

UPDATE [2:42pm]: Hernandez has signed a one-year deal with the Indians, so that means a couple more draft picks are coming the Mets' way.