NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets have reached one-year deals with starters Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey and settled with five other players.
Relievers Jeurys Familia, A.J. Ramos and Hansel Robles, catcher Travis d’Arnaud and infielder Wilmer Flores also agreed Friday to one-year contracts and avoided arbitration.
Starter Zack Wheeler was the only Mets player who exchanged salary figures with the team. He asked for $1.9 million and the club offered $1.5 million.
While many of his Mets rotation mates got hurt or hit hard last year, deGrom ($7.4 million) was a rock all season for a team that finished 70-92. He went 15-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 31 starts, emerging as the staff ace with Syndergaard injured.
The 2014 NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom ranked second in the National League with 239 strikeouts last season and fifth with 201 1/3 innings – 81 more than any other New York pitcher. He set career highs in both categories, as well as wins, though his ERA was his highest in four major league seasons.
The 29-year-old right-hander earned $4.1 million last season and the Mets may consider giving him a multiyear contract at some point. He can become a free agent after the 2020 season.
Perhaps no injury was more damaging and deflating to the Mets last year than Syndergaard’s torn lat muscle on April 30. The fireballing ace returned in late September for some brief work at the end of a lost season, finishing 1-2 with a 2.97 ERA in only 30 1/3 innings.
After bulking up during the previous winter, Syndergaard altered his workouts this offseason under the supervision of Eric Cressey, a performance coach who assisted Corey Kluber and Max Scherzer, and Shane Rye, co-founder of Cressey’s company.
The 25-year-old Syndergaard, who made his major league debut in May 2015, will get $2,975,000 after his first year of arbitration eligibility and would get a $25,000 bonus for making 25 starts. His salary was $605,500 last season, when he averaged a career-high 99.6 mph with his fastball. The right-hander was an All-Star in 2016, going 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA and 218 strikeouts in 183 2/3 innings.
Diminished following a string of injuries, Harvey ($5,625,000) is coming off a miserable 2017 season, when he went 5-7 with a 6.70 ERA in 92 2/3 innings. The former ace gave up 21 home runs and struck out only 67 against 47 walks while earning $5,040,984. He missed 2+ months with a right shoulder injury and was mostly terrible after returning in September.
It was his second consecutive rough season following a successful comeback in 2015 from Tommy John surgery. Harvey’s 2016 campaign was cut short when he had a rib removed during surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, a compression of nerves in the area between the neck and armpit. He and the Mets hoped that procedure would help him regain his All-Star form, but Harvey regressed even more last year.
The right-hander also was suspended by the team for three days in May after skipping a home game following a late night on the town – yet another personal transgression in a career filled with tabloid-fodder drama.
Harvey, who turns 29 in March, can become a free agent after the season, so this might be the final Mets go-round for a polarizing starting pitcher who once…