The Mets and Bobby Parnell avoided arbitration Thursday by agreeing to a one-year, $1.7 million contract.
The 28-year-old Parnell was eligible for arbitration for the first time after just missing out on Super-Two eligibility last year. He won’t be a free agent until after the 2015 campaign.
Parnell finished last season with a 5-4 record, five saves and a 2.49 ERA in 68 2/3 innings. He struck out 61, walked 20 and allowed four homers.
The plan is for Parnell to open this year as a setup man, with Frank Francisco getting his closing job back despite a 5.53 ERA in 42 1/3 innings last season. Still, Parnell is at least as likely as Francisco to lead the Mets in saves.
The Mets announced that a handful of minor leaguers have been invited to big league spring training camp. Among them is former football star and current outfielder Tim Tebow.
Tebow, 31, spent last season with Double-A Binghamton. His season ended in July due to a broken hamate bone. Overall, he hit .273/.336/.399 with six home runs and 36 RBI in 298 plate appearances. While the numbers aren’t anything earth-shattering, they are certainly better than what many skeptics thought he could put up in the minors, especially at Double-A.
Tebow will likely begin the season with Triple-A Syracuse. If he performs well, he could get a call up to the big leagues in the event of an injury, or in September when rosters expand.