With news surfacing earlier today that Sandy Alderson placed a hard deadline of 1:00 PM on Friday to complete arbitration negotiations, one eligible Met has avoided such hearings with the team: Lucas Duda. Jon Heyman reports that the first baseman and New York have agreed to a one-year, $7.25 million contract, which is a raise from the $6.725 million he made last season.
Having accrued more than five years of service time, Duda was in his final year of arbitration eligibility. Unless Duda signs an extension during the season, he will become a free agent after this season. Duda spent most of 2016 on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his back, only appearing in 47 games. He was sidelined in late May and returned briefly toward the end of September. As a result, his production was diminished, as he hit .229/.302/.412 with 7 home runs and 23 RBIs in 172 plate appearances.
The Mets’ new arbitration policy will affect a much larger number of players than in recent years if no one else settles before the Friday deadline. In the last fifteen years, the only player the Mets took to an arbitration hearing was Oliver Perez. Seven Mets remain without a settlement: Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia, Addison Reed, Travis d’Arnaud, Wilmer Flores, Josh Edgin, and Jacob deGrom.
Rene Rivera and Zack Wheeler had been arbitration eligible earlier this offseason, but have already comes to terms with the Mets on their salaries for the 2017 season.