Although the Mets have made major changes in the bullpen, one familiar face will be coming out to face batters. Avoiding arbitration, the organization re-signed reliever Duaner Sanchez to a one-year, $1,687,500 contract – a huge raise from the $950,000 he made in 2008.
After missing half of 2006 and all of 2007 with a broken shoulder, which he hurt in a taxi cab accident in Miami, Sanchez came back last season and was 5-1 with a 4.32 ERA in 66 relief appearances. He was also part of a bullpen that blew 29 of 72 save chances and he faded down the stretch, compiling an 8.64 ERA from Aug. 15 while allowing eight runs and 13 hits in 8 1-3 innings and letting opposing hitters bat .342.
General manager Omar Minaya expressed hope at the Winter Meetings that Sanchez will come back to pre-injury form after having a full year on the mound. Before he was hurt, the reliever was 5-1 with a 2.60 ERA in 49 appearances in 2006.
The Mets are expected to make the signing official tomorrow.
With the Sanchez signing the Mets have five remaining arbitration eligible players: right-hander John Maine, outfielder Ryan Church, reliever Pedro Feliciano and outfielders Jeremy Reed and Angel Pagan.