Church, Mets avoid arbitration with $2.8M deal

Updated: January 20, 2009, 4:57 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Right fielder Ryan Church and the New York Mets avoided salary arbitration, agreeing Tuesday on a $2.8 million, one-year contract.

New York also struck a $575,000, one-year deal with reserve outfielder Angel Pagan, who had been eligible for arbitration.

A pair of Mets remained in arbitration when players and teams exchanged figures Tuesday: Starting pitcher John Maine asked for $3 million, with the club offering $2.2 million; and reliever Pedro Feliciano requested $1.95 million, while New York proposed $1.35 million.

Church made $2 million last season, his first with the Mets after being acquired from Washington in a trade. He got off to a strong start but was sidelined for months by a concussion, his second of the year. He also sustained one during spring training.

The 30-year-old Church batted .276 with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs in 90 games. He can earn an additional $150,000 this season in performance bonuses: $50,000 for 400 plate appearances; $30,000 for 450 plate appearances; $30,000 for 535 plate appearances; and $40,000 for 550 plate appearances.

Pressed into regular duty early on because of injuries, the speedy Pagan also got off to a fine start last year before a shoulder tear ended his season on May 7. He finished with a .275 batting average and 13 RBIs in 91 at-bats.

Pagan, 27, is recovering from surgery to repair a torn left labrum. He can earn $25,000 each for 200 plate appearances and 250 plate appearances.

Pagan made $401,500 last season.

The Mets also agreed to minor league contracts with left-handers Tom Martin and Casey Fossum, and catcher Omir Santos. All three were invited to spring training.

Argenis Reyes, an infielder who batted .218 in 49 games with New York last season, agreed to a minor league deal and will report to minor league camp.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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