Mets, Feliciano avoid arbitration

NEW YORK -- Reliever Pedro Feliciano and the New York Mets agreed Friday to a one-year contract worth $1,612,500 and avoided salary arbitration.

The 32-year-old left-hander was 3-4 with a 4.05 ERA, and had two saves in 86 relief appearances last season. After earning $1.04 million last year, he had asked for $1.95 million in arbitration. The Mets offered $1.35 million.

New York hoped to finalize Feliciano's deal in the next few days. The agreement is $37,500 below the midpoint, and he could earn that amount in performance bonuses: $12,500 for 60 games and $25,000 for 60 innings.

The Mets did finalize a minor league contract with right-handed reliever Elmer Dessens. If added to the 40-man roster, Dessens would get $600,000 in the majors and $72,000 in the minors. He could earn an additional $30,000 each for 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 relief appearances.

Dessens was released by the Pittsburgh Pirates in spring training last year, then caught on with Atlanta late in the season. He went 0-1 in four relief appearances with the Braves, allowing 10 earned runs and 10 hits in four innings for a 22.50 ERA.

The Mets also agreed to a minor league contract with 26-year-old left-hander Heriberto Ruelas, who appeared in 44 games last year with Mexico City of the Mexican league.

The team said outfielder Fernando Martinez, who will be at spring training on a minor league contract, has a strained elbow and will be sidelined for three weeks. He hit a two-run homer for the Dominican Republic's Licey Tigers in the Caribbean Series on Tuesday night and hasn't played since.