The third and final arbitration case has been closed, and the Mets avoid it for another year, as they agreed on a one-year deal with second baseman Daniel Murphy, worth $2.925 million, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. When the two sides swapped numbers, New York came in at $2.55 million, while Murph and his representation was looking for $3.4 million.
At the end, the two sides settled $500K below the midpoint, and the Amazins have now settled with all three of their arbitration cases (Murph, Bobby Parnell, and Ike Davis) before heading to a hearing. After making approximately $500K last season, this is a significant raise for each player, and Murphy must be happy. I mean, he just got married and all, that stuff can be expensive. It’s nice knowing this process will not be dragged out into February with any of them, and they can all focus on getting ready for Opening Day.
I’ve obviously never sat in or participated in an arbitration hearing, but from what I’ve heard, it’s not a fun experience for a player, as their respective organization has to make their case as to why they shouldn’t have to pay a higher salary, usually pointing out a player’s flaws. The last time the Mets had to go to arbitration with a player was with the well-loved (in opposite world) Oliver Perez. Coincidentally enough, he was a Scott Boras client. And when I say that, I mean not at all.
That gives me a segway to another Boras client, Michael Bourn. You didn’t think I’d go a day without mentioning him, right? Reports say Sandy Alderson and John Ricco went to Houston last week to have dinner with both Bourn and Boras, which was more of a “get to know each other” meeting than a dollars and cents kind of meeting. Bourn still wants a five-year deal because Angel Pagan got four years from the Giants. Apparently, Boras is trying to tell the Mets that signing his client will make them look more credible for the market next winter, while also saying they’d agree to a shorter deal if it had an opt-out clause after the 2013 season. While MLB Trade Rumors reports this could be a possibility, the fact that their 11th overall pick likely won’t be protected will override their desire to land the leadoff hitter.
There were a couple pieces of news regarding former Mets catchers yesterday, as Kelly Shoppach inked a one-year deal to join the Mariners, worth $1.5 million and the opportunity for another $500K through incentives. He joins Jesus Montero (who figures to get most of the playing time) and another former Met, Ronny Paulino, in the Pacific Northwest. Also, Brian Schneider, who played his entire 13-year MLB career with teams in the National League East, announced his retirement. The 36-year-old last played with the Phillies in 2012. All of us here at Rising Apple wish Schneider well as he moves on to life outside of baseball.
In case you missed it, Bobby Valentine is looking to switch gears in his career, as his name is reportedly in the fray to potentially become the next Athletic Director at Sacred Heart University. As a proud alum and current employee of the institution, I’ll share more of my thoughts on this topic this afternoon.
Alderson continues to look for ways to upgrade the bullpen, as he adds former Red Sox reliever Scott Atchison with a minor league deal, including an invite to Big League Spring Training. Rob Bradford of WEEI tweets that if the righty makes the club out of Port St. Lucie, he is due to earn $700K with another $150K possible through incentives. Like Greg Burke, this is an extremely low risk, and extremely high reward signing for New York, and it could work out very well for the organization.
Atchison missed two months with Boston last season due to forearm tightness, but was able to avoid Tommy John surgery and recovered to make five appearances in September. He’s had the most productive stretch of his career in the last three seasons with the BoSox, most recently posting a 2-1 record in 42 appearances (51.1 IP), and compiled a 1.58 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. I’m interested to see who makes the Big League ‘pen out of Spring Training, because I think it has the chance of actually being a strength for the squad.