Reliever Phil Bickford won his arbitration hearing against the Mets, as first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post (X link). His camp at ET Sports successfully argued for a $900K salary; the team had filed at $815K.
New York acquired Bickford in a minor deadline trade with the Dodgers. He threw 25 1/3 innings down the stretch, working to a 4.62 ERA. The former first-round pick fanned around a quarter of opponents against an elevated 11.4% walk rate. Those were similar strikeout and walk marks as he managed in Los Angeles. He finished the year with a 4.95 mark over a career-high 67 1/3 innings.
The 28-year-old Bickford has topped 50 innings in three consecutive seasons. After working to a 2.81 ERA for the Brewers in 2021, he has allowed nearly five earned runs per nine in each of the past two years. The Mets nevertheless tendered him a contract even as they’ve brought in various relievers this offseason. Bickford is out of options, so they’ll need to keep him in the big league bullpen or put him on waivers.