NEW YORK (AP) _ Hideo Nomo, still struggling to regain the form that made him NL Rookie of the Year in 1995, avoided a salary arbitration hearing when he agreed Monday with the New York Mets on a one-year contract worth $2,925,000.

Nomo, acquired from Los Angeles last June, was one of six Mets who filed for arbitration last Friday.

``We are looking for Hideo to have a comeback year,'' Mets general manager Steve Phillips said. ``His stuff was great last season.''

Nomo was 4-5 with a 5.04 ERA for the Mets and 6-12 with a 4.92 ERA overall. He struck out 167 and walked 94 in 157 1-3 innings, allowing 130 hits.

``If he can cut down on his walks, which we think he can, there is no doubt in my mind he can again become one of the top starting pitchers in the National League,'' Phillips said.

Nomo has a 49-41 career record with a 3.68 ERA. He was 13-6 with a 2.54 ERA for the Dodgers in 1995, ushering in a new era for Japanese players in the major leagues.

After his rookie season, Nomo agreed to a $4.3 million, three-year contract with the Dodgers, a deal that paid him $2.8 million last season. His new contract contains performance bonuses that could raise his earnings above $3 million.

Shortstop Rey Ordonez, infielder Edgardo Alfonzo and pitchers Armando Benitez, Jason Isringhausen and Turk Wendell remain in arbitration. Players and teams exchange salary figures Tuesday, with hearings set for next month.