After looking at how the New York Mets will approach free agency and the trade market in the last two weeks, the next order of business to consider is how the Mets will deal with their nine arbitration eligible players. Some of those decisions will be easier than others, particularly when it comes to the infield. The most difficult dilemma likely resides with first baseman Ike Davis, who made three million dollars during a disappointing 2013 season. Here is a list of the nine arbitration eligible players and what they can expect to have happen on the Mets' end.
RP Scott Atchison: Atchison is arbitration eligible for the third time, and he earned $700,000 in 2013. Atchison, who is 37, also missed time due to injury in 2013 and had previously been non-tendered by the Boston Red Sox last winter. The Mets are in a 40 man roster crunch, and while Atchison is useful the Mets could non-tender him to free a roster spot for a younger prospect. The Mets like him, however, so Atchison could return on a minor league deal.
1B Ike Davis: Davis is eligible for arbitration for the second time. Davis earned three million dollars after hitting 32 home runs in 2012, but he fell way off in 2013. Arbitration rules state that a player can earn no less than 90 percent of his previous years salary, so the Mets will likely be paying around 3.2 million for Davis again. The Mets will likely tender him a contract, but expect his name to be thrown around in trade discussions this winter.
SP Dillon Gee: After pitching 199 innings and being the Mets' best pitcher not named Matt Harvey, Dillon Gee should be in line for a significant raise in 2014. Gee earned just over 500,000 dollars this year, and is in line for a raise that the Mets will happily pay given the uncertain status of their starting rotation.
2B Daniel Murphy: Murphy was the Mets' best hitter this past season and stayed healthy for the entire year. Murphy's defense has also improved at second base, and he has shown enough to give General Manager Sandy Alderson a reason to believe he can be a part of the championship puzzle. Murphy earned just under three milion dollars last year, and that figure will likely double next season. Like Gee, Murphy isn't going anywhere.
RP Bobby Parnell: Parnell is arbitration eligible for the second time this winter. Parnell earned $1.7 million in 2013 and cemented his role as the team's closer prior to ending the season on the disabled list with a neck injury. Parnell is due to receive a significant raise and the Mets will tender him a contract, but don't be surprised to hear his name floating around in trade rumors this winter. The Mets think highly of new acquisition Vic Black and even tried him in the closer's chair late in the season.
SS Omar Quintanilla: Quintanilla was serviceable as the starting shortstop defensively, but his bat was poor. The Mets will look to upgrade shortstop externally, so Quintanilla won't have a starting job again next season. Quintanilla is arbitration eligible for the first time, and he could be a non-tender candidate if the Mets feel they can replace his defense with someone younger and cheaper.
SS Ruben Tejada: Tejada is arbitration eligible for the first time this winter, and he couldn't have picked a worse season. Tejada lost his grip on the job of Mets' shortstop of the future and is working with a team approved trainer to improve his conditioning. Tejada seems to be doing well, but if he doesn't show enough progress in the fall he could be a surprise non-tender candidate.
SS Justin Turner: Turner is one of the most popular Mets on the team, and he does enough good things for the organization to keep him around. Arbitration eligible for the first time, reports came out shortly after the season was over that the Mets plan on keeping the super sub around another year.
OF Eric Young Jr: Young is arbitration eligible for the first time this winter. Young lit a fire under the Mets when he arrived and even finished the year as the National League stolen base champion. GM Sandy Alderson has wanted to acquire Young for years, so he will certainly be tendered a new contract. Whether Young remains the every day left fielder or transitions to a super sub role remains to be seen.
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