Marc Carig of Newsday reports the Mets may have $30 million to send this offseason in order to improve the Major League roster in the hopes of the Mets returning to the postseason next year.
Last year, the Mets Opening Day payroll was $155 million. However, that is a bit of a misnomer. With David Wright missing the entire 2017 season, and insurance picking up 75% of his salary, the Mets real payroll commitments were really $140 million. That number was further reduced when the Mets traded Jay Bruce ($13 million), Lucas Duda ($7.25 million), Curtis Granderson ($15 million), and Neil Walker ($17.2 million). Only in the case of Walker did the Mets agree to pay a part of the prorated amount due the player for the rest of the 2017 season.
With Carig’s report, it appears the Mets are unwilling to return the payroll to the $155 million it was at the start of the 2017 season. This gives Sandy Alderson little wiggle room this offseason when he has to address the Mets holes at second, third, center field, rotation, bullpen, and the bench. Additionally, the Mets may want to seek an upgrade at the catching and first base positions.
With the Mets picking up the options for Jerry Blevins and Asdrubal Cabrera, the total guaranteed payroll amount is $71 million. This does not include monies due and owing to arbitration eligible players the Mets are sure to keep like Jacob deGrom and AJ Ramos.
In an previous MMO report from Chris Gaine, the payroll for players currently under control should range between $109 – $119 million depending on the agreed upon arbitration salaries.
Overall, all indications are the Mets will be reducing their payroll while also publicly espousing they fully intend on the Mets to compete for a World Series in 2018. To many, this seems like a mixed message which makes the job of first time manager Mickey Callaway all the more difficult.