Blog Entry

Mets could cut payroll under $100 million in 2012

Posted on: September 6, 2011 1:15 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2011 1:16 pm

By Evan Brunell

The New York Mets plan to pare payroll significantly next season, taking a $140-million team and slashing it down to at least $110 million, if not under $100 million.

The Mets aren't ready to commit to an overall payroll plan for 2012 because a lot of the decision hinges both on 2012 ticket prices and the fate of Jose Reyes. The team has yet to determine next year's ticket prices, which will directly influence the team's payroll budget. Plus, New York could choose to rebuild next year if Reyes departs, which would set the team up better for future success even if a year's pain would be needed, a source tells the New York Post's Joel Sherman for the first time on the record or on background.

Projected 2012 Mets
C Josh Thole
1B Ike Davis
2B Ruben Tejada
3B David Wright
SS Jose Reyes?
LF Jason Bay
CF Angel Pagan?
RF Lucas Duda
SP1 R.A. Dickey
SP2 Johan Santana
SP3 Mike Pelfrey?
SP4 Jon Niese
SP5 Dillon Gee?
CL Bobby Parnell
Helping matters is that the lineup and rotation for next season is pretty much ready to go, sans possible question marks at short and in center field, as well as the rotation, where the club could opt to non-tender Mike Pelfrey. If the team brought Reyes back, they would make more of a push to contend but still wouldn't go past $110 million in payroll, and that essentially guarantees the team next season looking much like this year's, as you can see from the table to your right. The projected lineup and rotation next season could be just like this year's, with Johan Santana added after a year-long rehab.

Why minimal change?

To start, the Mets don't have much choice. There are five players signed for 2012 at $60.45 million. Adding Reyes around $20 million annually would push the total cost to $80.45 million, leaving just $30 million to spread out among 19 other players. That's not a lot of flexibility, which would demand the Mets retain many of their players, especially those who have yet to hit free agency and can still be controlled at lower dollars.

But don't forget -- the Phillies aren't going anywhere, the Braves are a strong team and the Nationals are starting to worry many in the game. That's a lot of teams to get through to make the postseason, and the Mets aren't dripping with enough talent to make it happen. They could be better off punting 2012 -- if Reyes doesn't return... or even if he does -- to get one year closer to the end of Santana and Jason Bay's contracts, while bringing along their top prospects for another year. With Jenrry Meija undergoing the knife for Tommy John surgery and Zach Wheeler along with Matt Harvey still a year or two out, it may be the prudent move to load up for 2013... especially given the elite free-agent class that currently projects to hit the market. Sherman cites Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Cole Hamels and Matt Cain as potential free agents.

While the Mets may be -- are -- paring payroll so the Wilpons can save money in light of the Bernie Madoff case, they're also slashing payroll because there just isn't much that can be done. Treating 2012 as a rebuilding year to evaluate the team may be the most prudent course of action, Reyes or no Reyes. And if there's one thing about GM Sandy Alderson we know, it's that he's smart and if the best course of action -- even in a major media market like New York -- is to wait another year for the best chance at long-term success, he will do it.

And frankly, if you look at the team, it's the right move. The Mets should do what they can to bring back Reyes, but any retention of Reyes would have to be with the idea that the contract would pay far more dividends in 2013 and beyond, not 2012. Lip service would be paid toward making the postseason next year with Reyes, of course, but it wouldn't go beyond that unless New York surprises and stays in contention deep into July.

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Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: September 6, 2011 5:24 pm

Mets could cut payroll under $100 million in 2012

$140 to $100 million is not that much a reduction. If I was running the team I would trim the payroll to about $80 million. Anything over that is just excess.

Since: Sep 6, 2011
Posted on: September 6, 2011 5:10 pm

Mets could cut payroll under $100 million in 2012

They can't find any takers for Jason Bay??? Dude has proven he cannot hit in this BllPark...or any ballpark for that matter

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: September 6, 2011 2:21 pm

Mets could cut payroll under $100 million in 2012

@LDK, there is no way that Turner starts over Murphy at any position...Turner is more a utility player ...take away Turners May .325 month (we all know he is not a .325 hitter) and look at his numbers he has hit .235ish all year long.  

Also, there is no way the Mets move Wright when they still have Bay and Sanatana on the books... they will wait to see what Santana has, Santana comes back storng the mets will move santana's 25 million$ contract for a prospect.  And if Bay does what Beltran did this year and smashes the ball in the 1st half of 2012 his contract will be traded as well.  I don't know if both happen but I'm cetain that one of these contracts will be moved ...most likely Santana.  Johan will have a solid bounce back year, no doubt about that ...he is a fighter. 

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: September 6, 2011 2:09 pm

Mets could cut payroll under $100 million in 2012

Don't forget the $1.2 million that the Mets will pay out next year and the next 25 years to Bobby Bonilla, because they were too short sighted to manage contracts respnsibly when it was time to cut ties with the player.  The Mets may still be suffering the lingeringing after effects of poor management.  The whole organization still stinks like Omar Minaya...

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: September 6, 2011 2:06 pm

Mets could cut payroll under $100 million in 2012

I am afraid that it is going to be a decision whether to keep Reyes or Wright.  Financially, they can't afford both of them and field a competitive team.

If they keep Wright, Tejada plays short and Justin Turner plays 2B.
If they keep Reyes, Tejada plays 2B and Turner plays 3B.

They have the flexibility.

Problem is, are they competitive without both Wright and Reyes?  They're only marginally competitive with both of them, how can they win with only one of them?

The move has to be to build for the future. 

Since: Jul 30, 2009
Posted on: September 6, 2011 2:00 pm

Mets could cut payroll under $100 million in 2012

Remember when the Mets lied to taxpayers and said a new stadium would supply them the revenues to compete every year for a title.  Taxpayers were fleeced once again.  Other cities should learn from this mess.  Owners should pay for their private businesses with their own money.  Cities are broke and raising taxes to build stadiums should never happen again.  The Mets can't fill a stadium in New York......that is a bigger concern than spending $$$$$ on a team.

Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: September 6, 2011 1:46 pm

Mets could cut payroll under $100 million in 2012

If they cut payroll to under $100 million there is no way they can sign Jose Reyes and field a good team with the phillies and braves in that division

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