DiComo: Mets Payroll Limitations Puts Dee Gordon Out Of Reach

While the Mets have a need to fill at second base and the rival Miami Marlins plan to shop Dee Gordon, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com opines the two teams are unlikely to match up for a trade.

On Thursday, Nov. 9, DiComo answered a series of questions leading up to the Winter Meetings next week and when fielding a question about Gordon, he says that New York’s financial restraints and Miami’s asking price will ultimately stop any preliminary talks in its tracks.

“The odds the Mets trade for Gordon are low,” DiComo said. “Just because the Marlins are reportedly looking to shed salary does not mean they are going to just give away their top players for free. Want to deal Amed Rosario for Gordon? Derek Jeter will probably return your phone call. Short of that, the Mets just don’t have the type of prospect capital necessary to outbid other teams.

“Moreover, they don’t have much budget flexibility to acquire a player like Gordon, who is guaranteed $37.9 million over the next three seasons. Before signing a single free agent, the Mets are on the hook to pay their top 21 players about $119 million in salary — a figure that includes all their guaranteed contracts, estimated arbitration raises using MLB Trade Rumors’ figures, and league-minimum deals for everyone else.

“Alderson has already said he went over budget on last year’s $156 million Opening Day payroll, with a promise to sell off pieces — Jay BruceCurtis Granderson et al — if the team fell out of contention. Based on Alderson’s comments, it is difficult to imagine the Mets surpassing that $156 million figure in 2018. More likely, they will clock in lower.”

Gordon, 29, would be a nice fit for the Mets, who have seriously lacked speed the last several seasons and have relied on a committee of players at the keystone since Daniel Murphy took his talents to Washington.

In 158 games for Miami in 2017, Gordon hit .308/.341/.375 with two homers and 33 RBI in 695 plate appearances. He also had a 92 wRC+, .312 wOBA and was good for 3.1 WAR, while swiping 60 bags.

In the field, he committed 12 errors in 1,293.1 innings while being good for 3 DRS and a 6.4 UZR.

The two-time All-Star is signed through the 2020 campaign with a club option for 2021. He is slated to make $10.8 million in 2018, before seeing boosts in his pay day the following seasons, making $13.3 million in 2019 and $13.8 million in his final year.

The rest of the questions DiComo answered can be found here.

Gordon would be a great fit for the Mets, both to fill the hole at the keystone and to give the team a quality lead-off hitter.

It’s likely New York won’t be able to replace all the power they shipped away in July and August, so manufacturing runs using small ball could be beneficial to the team.

Gordon has a knack for stealing bases and gets on base a solid amount. His advanced metrics are low (most of it can be chalked up to him not hitting for much power), but even still, he would be a better option than anything the team has in house.

I don’t know if the Mets would necessarily have to give up Amed Rosario (nor should they even entertain that), but still, their farm system is not nearly as strong as it was to be able to land players like Gordon.

The market hasn’t completely shaped up yet, so who knows what the cost for Gordon might be, but if I’m Sandy Alderson, I’d still be on the phone with Jeter picking his brain and feeling out what he wants.

What’s the most important thing for Miami this offseason, from what I’ve learned, is that they want to drop payroll down to the $90 million range. Gordon’s contract is one of the most lucrative ones they have on the books, so if they really want to reduce payroll, they will find a way to trade him.

Yes, it’s been reported that the team will only have somewhere in the $30-$40 million range in adding new contracts, but if they took on some of Gordon’s salary, it could lessen what the team would have to give up prospect wise and you’d have a second baseman for the next three and possibly four years. However, it all comes down to the Wilpon’s willingness to be flexible or a lack thereof.

While, at least at this point, it seems like a long shot, I’d at least hope the team will be checking in with Miami from time to time as well as having some discourse at the upcoming Winter Meetings.

About Rob Piersall 1211 Articles
Rob Piersall is a fourth-year student at SUNY New Paltz, studying journalism with a minor in communications. He is also the managing editor for his school's newspaper, The Oracle. A Mets fan since the age of six in 2001, Rob is senior editor here at MMO. His favorite thing is reporting breaking Mets news and transactions as well as writing columns. He is also ready to see what Mickey Callaway brings to the table in 2018. LGM! Follow Rob on Twitter: @RobPiersall.