With Opening Day less than two weeks away, the names of those who could open the season on the disabled list has more star power than the team we’ll see on the field come April 1 against the Padres.
Closer Frank Francisco told the team he is still not feeling right after a 31-pitch side session on Saturday. He is still trying to recover from inflammation following off-season surgery to remove above spur form his right elbow.
“It’s not like sharp pain, but I feel like it’s not 100%,” Francisco said afterward. “It only happens when I try to push more than what I have before.”
Francisco said he feels a sting after each pitch. He is owed $6.5 million and is in the final season of the the two-year, $12 million deal he signed prior the 2012 season.
There’s no chance that Johan Santana will be ready to open the season and it could be May until we see him again at all. He has yet to pitch in a game and once he reaches that point it will be like the start of Grapefruit League play and would need at least five appearances to build up his arm strength and endurance.
Santana is owed $25.5 million in 2013, the final guaranteed year of the longterm contract he signed with the Mets before the 2008 season.
Second baseman Daniel Murphy is still dealing with a moderate strain of his intercostal and has yet to play in a Grapefruit League game this spring. He has been shutdown after playing five innings of defense in a minor league game last Friday. According to manager Terry Collins, if Murphy doesn’t get on the field by this weekend, he could start the year on the disabled list.
“If he’s not back in a game, you’re down to seven days and that’s not a lot of time to get somebody who hasn’t done anything all spring, to get him ready,” Collins said.
That brings us to David Wright, who also is sidelined with a moderate strain of the intercostal. He has already been treated with a cortisone shot to his rib cage area and is in the third day of waiting for any sign of improvement.
Regardless, he will be reevaluated by team doctors on Friday and so far it’s playing out the same way it has for Daniel Murphy who has already missed more than a month. Year one of Wright’s eight year, $138 million contract is not off to a roaring start.
Just on those four players alone, Santana $25.5 million, Wright $11 million, Francisco $6.5 million and Murphy 2.95 million, the Mets are on the hook for $49.5 million dollars.
With a payroll that comes in at around $85 million, nearly 60% of it will likely be on the shelf on Opening Day.
But for the most part, and while all teams have bumps and bruises of their own this time of the year, I doubt any of them will have more than half of their payroll sitting idly on the sidelines come Opening Day.