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.
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.
Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.
The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.
Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.
After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.
Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.
Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.
The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.