For those among you who have waited patiently for this season to end, a season in which the lack of payroll flexibility was the cure-all for why no significant moves were made to bolster the team, don’t expect this offseason to be much different from the last one.
For nearly a year, the Mets and their apologists have had their auto-responders set to – “It’s not Alderson’s fault for the lack of payroll flexibility, blame Omar.”
Now, eleven months later, with a payroll that has shed almost $70 million dollars since April, the alarm has been sounded. Here are comments that general manager Sandy Alderson made to reporters in Buffalo last night:
“We can’t spend at will the same way they can spend. And we’re not going to attempt to try to do that, at least not over the next several years. Our revenues, basically we’ve got to get people back in the ballpark to generate the kind of revenues that would be needed to have an even larger payroll. But the fact is, even at $100 million or $110 million, we’re still in the upper echelon of payrolls. That ought to allow us plenty of latitude.”
Let me repeat the most significant part of his statement:
Our revenues, basically we’ve got to get people back in the ballpark to generate the kind of revenues that would be needed to have an even larger payroll.
Blame the fans?
The Mets currently have about $70 million dollars in guaranteed payroll commitments going into next season, so why the alert? That figure is down from the near $145 million that was understandably too high going into this season – in fact it’s less than half – and that’s assuming they sign Jose Reyes. If they don’t, drop that number down to about $55 million.
“When you have $75 million of that tied up in four or five players, some of whom aren’t playing, it’s not a good situation to be in where you’re trying to fill out the rest of the team and be competitive in a very difficult division,” the GM said.
Is that a warning that Jose Reyes may not be re-signed? Or that David Wright will be traded?
What exactly are they trying to say?
The front office are already giving indications that both Mike Pelfrey and Angel Pagan may be non-tendered. As a matter of fact, in the last 48 hours the conversation about who plays centerfield in 2012 has sounded a lot like Angel Pagan’s departure is more than just a foregone conclusion, his name is never in the conversation at all. (By the way, I wouldn’t have a problem with non-tendering either of them.)
How do you feel about this?
Does it sound like they are about to shift from “Blame Omar” to “Blame the Fans”, or is that just me?
Alderson also said “It’s very difficult, unless you’re one of a couple of teams, to have three, four guys making $15 million-plus.” A couple of teams? Just the teams in our area alone have at least 3-4 players making $15 million or more and that includes the Red Sox, Phillies and Yankees, and yet I don’t see them lamenting over payroll.
The Mets are pretty much saying that unless fans start flocking to Citi Field in droves – they still won’t have payroll flexibility to make any significant additions to the team. So basically, all that hogwash about the Mets having an extra $70 million to spend after this season, was just a bunch of hot air intended to fan our hopes for a better 2012.
Alderson seems to take a direct shot at Jason Bay when he said, “if you invest $15 million, you hope you’re going to get $15 million worth of performance. We haven’t always gotten that.”
The fact is that he was getting that from Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez before their trades, and he is still getting that from Jose Reyes who may or may not return. It’s David Wright and Jason Bay who haven’t played at a level commensurate with their significant salaries in my opinion.
This is going to be one heck of a Hot Stove season for the Mets. In fact the whole damned stove may simply blow up into a huge fireball and mushroom cloud that could be seen from Atlanta, Philadelphia, Washington and Florida.
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