This has been a busy winter for the New York Yankees, who have acquired NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton while re-signing veteran starter CC Sabathia. As for the New York Mets? Their big move thus far has been signing free-agent reliever Anthony Swarzak to a two-year deal.
It doesn't look like the Mets will be making any major moves in the near future, either. That's because the Mets are looking to lower payroll by about $20 million as compared to last season, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post:
For the opening payroll number will be roughly $20 million less in 2018, a concession that the rotation might never be the powerhouse they hoped it'd be. That realization, in conjunction with other factors, has lowered the Mets' internal assessment of their playoff chances from this time last year. And, thus, lowered how much the Wilpons and Saul Katz are willing to invest in the roster.
The Mets entered last season with a payroll north of $154 million. They're currently set to pay about $125 million, per Cot's Contracts, with nearly half that allocated to three players, in Yoenis Cespedes ($29 million), David Wright ($20 million), and Asdrubal Cabrera ($8.25 million). If Sherman's sources are correct, the Mets have about $9 to $10 million in free money, give or take depending on arbitration raises and the like. That's a pity sum in this day and age.
Sherman notes that despite their limited financial wiggle room, the Mets intend to compete. They're just likely to make budget-saving deals at the end of the winter when prices drop, or through low-cost minor-league additions. The Mets are expected to shop around for relief help, as well as a veteran first baseman in lieu of giving Dominic Smith the first-base job outright.
Sherman's report comes on the heels of the Mets extending general manager Sandy Alderson.