In August, it was announced that MLB Advanced Media, known in the industry as “BAMtech,” is being sold to Disney.
MLB is making $1.5 billion on the deal. This is important because each team, including the Mets, will receive a $50 million windfall following the move.
According to a report in NBC Sports, the $1.5 billion may be just the tip of the iceberg for MLB.
A source familiar with the big Disney-BAMTech acquisition tells NBC Sports that, as a result of the deal, Disney will get one major league game a night to stream on its new ESPN-branded streaming service.
The game will be behind a pay wall. In exchange Disney will pay Major League Baseball a “significant” sum, over and above what it already pays MLB for ESPN’s broadcast rights and over and above the $1.58 billion Disney paid for the additional 42 percent of BAMTech it acquired. The exact figures were not disclosed.
The team also has $70 million coming off the books, but general manager Sandy Alderson said late last month the team is unlikely to match the opening day payroll of $155 million from this past year.
“I’m certainly not sitting here willing to say OK, it’s going to be at least as high as it was last year, but I think we expect to be a competitive team next year.”
“The fact that we have so many dollars coming off the books we recognize and a good percentage of that — at this point undermined — certainly will be reinvested in the payroll, but I can’t give you a specific number.”
MLB Trade Rumors recently released an outlook for the Mets offseason with a few important nuggets.
The team has three guaranteed contracts for next year currently, as well as two player options that are likely to be picked up:
- Yoenis Cespedes, OF: $87.5MM through 2020
- David Wright, 3B: $47MM through 2020
- Juan Lagares, OF: $15.5MM through 2019 (club option for 2020)
- Asdrubal Cabrera, INF: $8.5MM club option or $2MM buyout
- Jerry Blevins, RP: $7MM club option or $1MM buyout
The team also has several players that are eligible for salary arbitration:
- Nori Aoki (5.148) – $6.3MM
- Tommy Milone (5.113) – $2.2MM
- Matt Harvey (5.072) – $5.9MM
- AJ Ramos (5.030) – $9.2MM
- Jeurys Familia (5.024) – $7.4MM
- Zack Wheeler (4.098) – $1.9MM
- Travis d’Arnaud (4.044) – $3.4MM
- Wilmer Flores (4.003) – $3.7MM
- Jacob deGrom (3.139) – $9.2MM
- Noah Syndergaard (2.149) – $1.9MM
- Hansel Robles (2.127) – $1.0MM
The top two, Aoki and Milone are non-tender candidates, with the former due for a big pay raise and the latter having vastly under performed in 2017.
With the roster’s current makeup of players, the payroll stands around $100-102 million, if you take away Aoki and Milone’s projected salaries.
However, the Mets have holes to fill. Alderson will need to find a viable option at third base to replace David Wright, who hasn’t appeared in a game since May, 2016. Additionally, the team needs an innings eater type starter, one or two bullpen chips and a potential outfielder.
It will be interesting to see how the general manager looks to retool the team this offseason and just how much payroll he has to work with.