The New York Mets tendered a contract to Ryan Church on Friday Night. Teams had to decide whether or not to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players prior to Friday's deadline, either allowing those players to go through the arbitration process or making them free agents.
Church, 30, hit .276 with 12 home runs in 90 games last season, his first with the Mets. He was the team's most productive hitter until a concussion sidelined him in May, and created a series of lingering effects that plagued him for the rest of the season. Church, who agreed to a $2 million deal to avoid arbitration last winter, will enter Spring Training as the starting right fielder.
He can file for salary arbitration from Jan. 5-15, and the Mets must exchange salary figures with him by Jan. 19. If both parties cannot agree to a contract in the ensuing weeks, they will enter arbitration hearings from Feb. 1-21 to determine 2009 salaries. But the Mets have a history of avoiding such hearings -- when Oliver Perez went through the process last season, he was the first Met to do so in 16 years.