Last week, I speculated that Josh Thole, Bobby Parnell, Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy might each be eligible for arbitration after this season.
ESPN and the Daily News are confirming that is in fact the case now, which adds a little bit more thrust to my argument below.
Originally Posted on September 6 at 4:00 PM.
With the Mets discussion now shifting away from the field of play and onto the field of pay, everybody has something to say or report on the matter. The questions are many:
How much will Sandy Alderson have to spend?
How big is the payroll budget for this offseason?
Will the Mets have the resources to keep David Wright and R.A. Dickey beyond the 2013 season?
How much money do the Mets already have obligated toward the 2013 payroll?
All of these questions are the talk of the town today as everyone tries to wrap their arms around exactly what’s happening in Flushing.
But as I have been saying all along since the Winter of 2010, Mets payroll will end up being between somewhere in the neighborhood of $75 and $90 million dollars when the big wind finally passes. When payroll was somewhere at around $145 million, people scoffed at the notion that it would actually fall below $100 million, but that’s exactly what happened – to the tune of $93 million. I speculate that it will still go lower than that before the slashing subsides… Maybe $13 million lower and if not by 2013, I’m certain that it will happen by 2014.
As is usually the case, whenever you mention the word “payroll” to anyone in the front office, they know nothing and they say nothing.
They do tell us that they have an aggressive and ambitious offseason plan, which to me says they know exactly what they can or cannot do financially. But we’ll see.
Sticking to what we actually do know, the Mets are obligated to $54.5 million in payroll for 2013. Throw in David Wright and R.A. Dickey’s options and that number skyrockets to about $75 million give or take a few 2013 Audi A8’s.
You can bet your bottom dollar that neither Mike Pelfrey ($5.6MM), Andres Torres ($2.7MM) or Ramon Ramirez ($2.65MM) will be back and all three will be non-tendered… At least that’s the hope…
Jon Rauch has been sharp, but it’s been an up and down season, and if he’s looking for more than $3.5MM he got this season, I doubt he’s coming back either.
So that leaves the Mets about $20 million or less in spending money to fill 19 roster spots.
Here is something that I frequently see overlooked on many of these Mets budget/roster/ posts, and that is the possibility that the Mets will have four players heading into arbitration for the very first time this offseason. They are Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis, Bobby Parnell, and Josh Thole.
All of a sudden that $20 million the Mets have to spend doesn’t look so good…
If the Mets get lucky, they can bring all four back for $6-8 million dollars, but I’m thinking that’s a best case scenario. Lets go with the low end of my scale and deduct that $6 million from the $20 million which leaves us with $13 million to fill 15 more spots. I just don’t see it… The numbers don’t add up… Even Bernie Madoff would have a hard time trying to fudge these numbers and the guy was a freaking mastermind.
If they do bring back Rauch at the same $3.5 million, however unlikely but for argument’s sake, now the Mets have $9.5MM to fill 14 more spots and we haven’t even made one upgrade.
How much is Kelly Shoppach gonna want? He got $1.4 million for being a backup, and now he knows the Mets will invite him back to start and after a solid season for him…
Anyway you slice this, it doesn’t look good.
Normally I always tell Met fans to temper their expectations for the offseason, this year I’m asking you to bring those expectations down to the basement floor.