NEW YORK -- The Mets on Wednesday agreed to a new one-year deal with shortstop Ruben Tejada, thereby avoiding arbitration. Tejada's contract is worth $1.1 million, according to a source, more than doubling his $514,701 salary from a year ago.
Tejada, 24, hit .202 with a .519 OPS in 57 games last year, missing significant time to a right quad injury for the second straight season. Once healthy, he found himself mired in the Minor Leagues while Omar Quintanilla played regularly in Flushing.
Tejada did not return to the Majors until Sept. 11, making him a Super Two arbitration-eligible player instead of a full three-year veteran. As a result, he cannot become a free agent until after the 2017 season.
That does not necessarily make Tejada a long-term part of New York's plans. The Mets have openly searched for shortstop replacements this winter, though general manager Sandy Alderson said recently that he now considers a trade or free-agent signing unlikely. The starting job will instead almost certainly default to Tejada for the third straight season.
Tejada's deal leaves the Mets with six unsigned arbitration-eligible players: first basemen Ike Davis and Lucas Duda; second baseman Daniel Murphy; outfielder Eric Young Jr.; and pitchers Dillon Gee and Bobby Parnell. Those players are due to exchange salary figures with the Mets on Friday, if they do not agree to new deals before then.