NEW YORK — A first-year opt-out clause in Noah Syndergaard’s contract just got a bit bigger.
The New York Mets announced on Friday that they have agreed to a one-year, $5.5 million deal with Syndergaard, who will become a free agent after the 2017 season. The deal is contingent on Syndergaard passing a physical.
The deal brings back 2015 All-Star left-hander Syndergaard, who was bothered by a strained lat and underwent surgery in December to remove a bone spur from his throwing elbow. He hasn’t appeared in a major league game since Aug. 25.
Syndergaard was an All-Star in 2014, going 14-6 with a 2.60 ERA. He was 11-9 with a 2.66 ERA last year, then sat out all of spring training before being shut down following spring training because of the lat injury.
Syndergaard’s contract includes a $15.5 million option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout. He can receive an additional $750,000 for making the NL All-Star team or $1 million for winning the National League Cy Young Award.
Earlier Friday, the Mets called up minor league left-hander Sean Gilmartin from Triple-A Las Vegas and optioned second baseman Neil Walker. The Mets are trying to find an outfielder to replace Michael Cuddyer.
Gilmartin, who turns 26 on Monday, allowed one run over 5 1/3 innings in five starts with Las Vegas. The Mets acquired him from Detroit on July 3 for right-hander Michael Fulmer.
Gilmartin has made 49 appearances with the Tigers and Mets over the past two seasons.
Sandy Alderson, the Mets’ general manager, said Wednesday that the Mets’ plans were to give Syndergaard “some work in Triple-A, because we’re not going to run him into the ground.”
“That still seems to be a good plan,” Alderson said. “I think it’s important to get our confidence up and then use him in circumstances that will give us real confidence that he can pitch in an extended role. But that’s still a number of months away.”
This was the first time since spring training 2014 that Syndergaard had not pitched in a game for the Mets. The 2016 Opening Day starter and the Mets’ No. 2 starter the previous two seasons, Syndergaard acknowledged that being limited to instructional league and minor league games this spring will give him extra confidence.
“I think it’s going to be really good to get back out there this spring training and really get after it,” Syndergaard said. “I want to make sure that I’m healthy for Opening Day.”
In June, Syndergaard made it clear that he wanted to be back with the Mets in 2017.
“I think I would be remiss not to do that, knowing that I would be back,” Syndergaard said. “And knowing this is the place I’ve really got some of my best outings and it’s been fun to be a part of.”
Walker played for the New York Mets for nearly four seasons before being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in July. He hit .210 with 16 home runs and 47 RBIs in 104 games this season.
Gilmartin was 1-0 with a 4.00 ERA in 15 appearances with the Mets, 12 starts. Last season with the Tigers, he went 2-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 10 starts and eight relief appearances.