The Mets and first baseman Lucas Duda have avoided an arbitration hearing, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $6.725 million, Jon Heyman reports. The two sides weren’t able to come to an agreement before last Friday’s arbitration submission deadline. Duda had filed for $7.4 million and the Mets countered at $5.9 million, so their new deal comes in just ahead of the midpoint between the two submitted figures.
Duda, 30 in February, hit .244/.352/.486 with 27 home runs and 73 RBI in 554 plate appearances during the regular season for the Mets. Opposing pitching held him to just three extra-base hits in 54 playoff plate appearances. Duda will be eligible for arbitration for a fourth and final year next offseason.
The Mets also avoided arbitration with reliever Jenrry Mejia, per Heyman. The right-hander will earn $2.47 million in 2016. Mejia filed for $2.595 million and the Mets countered at $2.345 million, so they met exactly in the middle. However, Mejia earned $2.595 million last year, making him a rare case of a player taking a pay cut advancing through arbitration eligibility.
Mejia, 26, made only seven appearances last season as he was suspended twice for positive drug tests and dealt with an early season elbow injury. The second positive test resulted in a 162-game suspension. As ESPN’s Adam Rubin notes, Mejia’s salary will be prorated, so he’ll be paid only for the 63 games for which he is active.