Mets reach one-year deals with Ike, EY
Reported pacts leave club with four eligible for arbitration
NEW YORK -- The Mets settled with two more of their arbitration-eligible players on Thursday, agreeing to a one-year, $3.5 million contract with first baseman Ike Davis and a one-year, $1.85 million deal with outfielder Eric Young Jr., according to a source.
The Mets, who have not confirmed Young's deal, also made a $1.1 million pact with shortstop Ruben Tejada on Wednesday.
Davis, 26, earned $3.1 million last season in his first year of arbitration eligibility -- a year that saw him struggle through a second straight season-opening slump. But unlike 2012, when he rebounded to hit a career-high 32 homers, Davis could not snap out of the funk in time to avoid a Minor League demotion.
The first baseman returned from the Minors on July 5, hitting .267 with four homers in 48 games before a strained right oblique ended his season.
Davis has since endured a near-constant chorus of trade rumors. Employing a pair of left-handed first basemen with similar skill sets in Davis and Lucas Duda, the Mets made it known at the beginning of the offseason that they preferred to trade one of them.
More recently, general manager Sandy Alderson has backed off that stance, saying that he is "perfectly happy to go into Spring Training with Davis and Duda both on the team" -- a reality that grew nearer Thursday, when the Brewers reportedly filled their first-base void by signing free agent Mark Reynolds. But as long as the Pirates remain in need of a starting first baseman, a trade is possible.
Young, 28, came to the Mets after the Rockies designated him for assignment in June. Given regular playing time in New York, Young thrived enough to lead the National League with 46 stolen bases and was a finalist for the NL Gold Glove Award in left field. He will either start in left again in 2014 or come off the bench as a fourth outfielder.
With Davis, Young and Tejada signed, the Mets have four remaining arbitration-eligible players: Duda, second baseman Daniel Murphy and pitchers Bobby Parnell and Dillon Gee. These players will exchange salary figures with the Mets on Friday if they have not reached a contract agreement.