Even if Yoenis Cespedes leaves as a free agent, which seems more likely every passing day, according to GM Sandy Alderson, the decision to acquire him for elite pitching prospect Michael Fulmer and fellow right-hander Luis Cessa was worth it.
“Oh yeah, absolutely,” said Alderson. “We wouldn’t have gotten to the World Series without Cespedes. So, from our standpoint, that was a price well paid.” (Adam Rubin, ESPN)
The Mets say they will maintain dialogue with Cespedes’ agent, but it seems highly unlikely they will re-sign him due to his high demands.
In his time as Mets GM, Alderson has never offered a free agent a contract longer than the four year deal they gave Curtis Granderson during the 2013 offseason. Cespedes is looking for a deal of least six years.
When asked about his view on giving contracts of that length to players who are at least 30 years old, Alderson added: “That’s not something we like to do. Those contracts often don’t work out. I’ve said that before. But, look, we’ll make those decisions as they’re presented.”
Alderson was also asked about spending this offseason and where he expected his payroll to be next season.
“Our payroll started close to $100 million, and I would expect that our payroll going into 2016 would be higher than that,” Alderson said. “We ended up higher than that because of the additions we made at the deadline.”
Before any offseason additions, Rubin calculated that the Mets payroll currently projects to roughly $92 million after guaranteed contracts, raises, and arbitration projections.
It’s believed that payroll will increase from $100 million on Opening Day in 2015 to about $115 million next season. If true, that would give the Mets about $23 million to budget for this offseason and mid-season acquisitions.
The Mets could also find themselves trading players like Jon Niese to free up more payroll to spend. Niese is owed a guaranteed $20 million over the next two seasons, but has no apparent spot in the rotation.