Mets avoid arbitration with Feliciano
Left-hander expected to fill important setup role in bullpen
NEW YORK -- Another critical component of the Mets' bullpen is back without contention. Pedro Feliciano avoided arbitration on Friday afternoon, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $1.025 million, according to The Associated Press.
Feliciano was second on the team last year with 78 appearances, and he was third in the bullpen with a 3.09 ERA. Primarily tapped as a lefty setup reliever, Feliciano didn't allow a run in April and held a 2.51 ERA before the All-Star break, though, like most Mets, he stumbled a bit down the stretch. That came after a breakout season in 2006, when he finished with a 2.09 ERA and seven wins.
Entering his first year of arbitration eligibility, Feliciano, 31, struck a deal midway between the $1.2 million he desired and the $880,000 offered by the club. Now, with hearings set to occur this month, only Oliver Perez, Jorge Sosa and Ryan Church remain unsigned among those Mets eligible for arbitration. The team hasn't gone to a hearing with any player in 16 years.
Feliciano earned $602,000 last season.
He'll be expected to reprise his role this summer as a bullpen cog, a responsibility that came about largely through necessity. The acquisitions of Guillermo Mota in 2006 and Scott Schoeneweis the following winter were supposed to provide some measure of bullpen competition, though their subsequent ineffectiveness -- along with Duaner Sanchez's continued health issues -- only helped strengthen Feliciano's lock on a setup role.
With the left-handed Feliciano and the right-handed Aaron Heilman, the Mets boast two of the top setup men in the game.
"His process has been phenomenal," pitching coach Rick Peterson said last year of Feliciano's methods. "And it so happens that his outcome has followed right with it."
For his career, Feliciano is 10-5 with 3.20 ERA in five seasons.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.