Last season, the Mets paid catcher Brian Schneider $10.3 million dollars for the 2008-2009 seasons. In those two seasons, Schneider compiled a total of 505 at-bats in which he batted .243 with 12 home runs, 62 RBIs and 42 runs scored. He has since signed with the Philadelphia Phillies for a two year $2.5 million dollar deal or about $8 million dollars less than what the Mets paid him.
Even Bengie Molina, who slugged 20 home runs and drove in 80 runners, signed for less than what the Mets paid Brian Schneider last season. In fact, the $4.5 million that Molina got from the Giants was the biggest annual salary of an catcher in the free agent market.
Jason Kendall (Royals) and Ivan Rodriguez (Nationals) both followed Molina with contracts that will pay them an annual salary of $3.0 MM, and Miguel Olivo (Rockies) is close behind after netting $2 MM.
The bottom has dropped out for backup catchers as well.
Last season, the Mets paid Ramon Castro $2.5 million dollars to backup Brian Schneider. Castro just re-signed with the White Sox for a $1 million dollar deal, less than half what the Mets paid him.
Now you may look at the contract that the Mets gave backup Henry Blanco and think the Mets got themselves a bargain at $750K for one year. But a closer look at the contract and all the hidden bonuses tells a completely different story.
I decided to do some math regarding Blanco’s contract based on the following information from the esteemed Cots Contracts.
1 year/$0.75M (2010) signed by NY Mets as a free agent 12/3/09
Performance bonuses: $50,000 each for 60, 65, 70, 75 and 80 starts; $75,000 each for 85, 90, 95, 100 starts.
Roster bonuses: $5,000 each for days 1-80; $4,500 each for days 81-135; $3,500 each for days 136-150.
* Full $0.7M in roster bonuses to be paid if Blanco is released for any reason other than right shoulder injury
Lets assume that Blanco stays healthy for the entire season. Now that it has become clear that the Mets will not add another starting catcher, lets also assume that as half of a Blanco/Santos tandem, Blanco should easily start in 75 games.
Base Salary – $750,000
Performance Bonus – $200,000 (Corrected)
Roster Bonus – $700,000 ($400,000 for first 80 days. $247,500 for next 55 days. $52,500 for next 15 days.)
Total salary: $1.65 million dollars ( If he appears in 85 games it jumps to $1.8 million dollars)
Big difference, huh?
By the way, did you notice the clause that if the Mets trade or release Blanco, they must pay him the full $700K roster bonus as long as it’s not because of a pre-existing shoulder injury…
If you could have gotten Miguel Olivo for only $500 K more, don’t you think the Mets should have absolutely jumped at the opportunity?
Olivo batted .249 (Blanco .235) with 23 home runs and 65 RBI’s last season and is seven years younger than Blanco and calls just as good a game.
It seems like just another case of the Mets paying more for less.