The New York Mets were able to reach agreements on one-year deals with Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz, and Michael Conforto prior to the Friday deadline, meaning they successfully avoided arbitration with all six of their eligible players. Earlier in the day, the club settled with both Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom.
Wheeler will earn $5.975 million in 2019—a sizable bump from the $1.9 million he made in 2018. It is a well-deserved increase for Wheeler, who put together his best season in the majors after beginning the season in Triple-A and struggling for much of the first-half. He carried a 4.44 ERA into the All-Star break but emerged as one of the best pitchers in baseball in the second half, posting a 1.68 ERA and 2.53 FIP in 75 innings to go along with a 25.7% strikeout rate and an impressive 5.3% walk rate. He earned victories in six straight starts and won 10 of his last 11 decisions while finishing with a 4.2 bWAR.
Matz—who reached the 30-start plateau for the first time in his career—will earn $2.625 million in 2019 after making $577,000 last season. The left-hander rebounded from a disappointing 2017 campaign and finished with a 3.97 ERA and a 4.62 FIP in 154 innings, which was good for a 1.7 bWAR. While he posted a career-best 8.88 K/9, he continued to struggle with walking opposing batters. He finished the year with a career-worst 3.39 BB/9 and 8.9% walk rate, although he did allow a career-low 7.8 hits per nine innings.
Conforto will earn $4.025 million in 2019 after making $605,094 in 2018. The 25-year-old outfielder—who had his All-Star 2017 campaign cut short after injuring his shoulder in August—returned quicker than anybody expected and played in 153 games last year. Like Wheeler, he struggled during the season’s first half, which likely could be attributed to the aforementioned shoulder injury. However, he recovered nicely in the second half of the season and finished with a .243/.350/.448 slash line to go along with a 120 wRC+, a 124 OPS+, and a 2.9 bWAR. He also hit a career-high 28 home runs—one more than he hit in 2017—and set career bests in runs scored (78) and runs batted in (82).