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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mets News and Notes: Murphy, Atchison, Bourn

Murphy gets raise
Mets News and Notes:

The Mets have avoided arbitration with Daniel Murphy by agreeing to a one-year contract worth $2.925MM, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports (Twitter links).  The final total is a bit less than the midpoint between the figures exchanged by the two sides; Murphy asked for $3.4MM, the Mets offered $2.55MM.  This was Murphy's first year of arbitration eligibility.

The Mets are still in the market for relief help and could even pursue a closer, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The Mets signed right-hander Scott Atchison to a minor league deal Tuesday.

Atchison pitched for the Red Sox in 2012, posting a 1.58 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 51 1/3 innings. The Red Sox non-tendered him at the end of November instead of proceeding through the arbitration process with a projected $800K salary. Atchison missed two months with forearm tightness last summer but returned to make five appearances in September. He considered Tommy John surgery, ultimately avoiding the procedure.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson and assistant GM John Ricco travelled to Houston last week to dine with Michael Bourn and his super agent Scott Boras, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. Though the sides didn’t engage in intense negotiations over dinner, it’s clear there’s a gap between Bourn’s asking price and the Mets’ interest level. The Mets don’t want to offer more than three years and they wonder if any other team is willing to go beyond the $40MM range.

Bourn's camp is working to persuade Alderson that signing Bourn would give the Mets credibility when pursuing free agents a year from now, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).

It’s possible that Bourn could accept a shorter term deal if it includes an opt out clause that would provide him with the option of hitting free agency again a year from now. The Mets “could be amenable” to such a deal, Sherman writes.

Alderson will not sign Bourn without complete assurances that the Mets get to keep their first round selection, Sherman reports. The Mets’ 11th overall pick is unprotected, but the commissioner’s office doesn’t seem willing to grant the team the exception it seeks. Other clubs are lobbying MLB not to do the Mets this favor, Sherman reports.

Though the MLBPA would file a grievance supporting the Mets if Bourn asks the association for support, an arbitrator wouldn’t necessarily rule in favor of an exception.

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