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Mets, Zack Wheeler avoid arbitration

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The Mets and pitcher Zack Wheeler avoided arbitration on Wednesday, agreeing to an $800,000 salary for the 2017 season.

Wheeler, 26, was entering his first of three years of arbitration eligibility. The right-hander hasn’t pitched since 2014 as he underwent Tommy John surgery in ’15 and then suffered several setbacks in his rehab.

Wheeler owns a solid 3.50 ERA with a 271/125 K/BB ratio across 285 1/3 major league innings. The Mets are counting on him to contribute this coming season, but whether he’ll do so out of the rotation or the bullpen remains to be seen.

Jose Reyes is hitless in 20 plate appearances to start the season

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Mets backup infielder Jose Reyes pinch-hit and popped up in the top of the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game in Atlanta against the Braves. That ran his streak up to 20 consecutive hitless plate appearances to start the 2018 season. He has reached base once, however, on a walk, so there’s that.

Reyes, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets near the end of January. At the time, the Mets hadn’t yet signed Todd Frazier, so Reyes was in the mix to contribute as a utilityman but he has operated as a bat off the bench for the most part this season.

One wonders how much longer the Mets are going to let Reyes flounder. According to FanGraphs, he has already been worth a half-win less than a replacement-level player. Only eight other players have been as bad or worse this season.