New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson was asked about what the payroll for next season will look like while speaking with a group of season-ticket holders Sunday. His answer was an expected one.
“I’m hopeful we’ll be in the same range," Alderson said, per The Star-Ledger. “If not higher. But I can’t confirm that at this point.”
The Mets currently have a payroll around $95 million to $100 million this season, and keeping that same rate for 2013 is not only the right thing to do, it is the only thing they can do.
Even though the Mets owners got a favorable settlement in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, the budget is still being handcuffed by big contracts and payments for other loans. A decrease in attendance and revenue is not helping those budget figures either.
Although fans are probably discouraged to hear what Alderson had to say on the budget matter, they did receive some promising news about the futures of two Met stars.
Both Wright and Dickey have options for next season, but it appears that the Mets have every intention of signing both to long-term deals. Both players have expressed a desire to remain with the team but they want to work out their respective deals in the offseason.
“It’s not our intention to simply rely on those options and go into next season and deal with their free agency after 2013,” Alderson said.
It will be interesting to see what deals can be struck as Alderson alluded to having a stagnant payroll for next season.
The Mets should do everything they can to re-sign both players, but if they have to break the bank to do so, they will have to look into other options. Overpaying players is what got them into this mess in the first place and is not the solution moving forward.
The concentration and focus for this club should remain on working to rebuild the organization from the ground up, which means continuing to replenish a depleted and questionable farm system.
Keeping the payroll where it is at will benefit the Mets as they continue to grow.
Mets manager Terry Collins believes there is talent in some of the young guys coming up. He pointed out pitcher Matt Harvey and first baseman Ike Davis as key building blocks. (h/t The Associated Press)
Do not forget that pitching prospect Zach Wheeler is waiting in the wings for his opportunity as well, which will most likely be next season.
The free-agent market heading into the offseason is not expected to be anything spectacular and they have about $50 million coming off the books after 2013 with Johan Santana and Jason Bay entering the last year of their contracts. Throw in Frank Francisco's contract and that will add about another $6 million.
It is hard to sell a fan base on biding time when New York is such a "win now" town but after 2013, the club will have a lot more flexibility in who they want to bring in moving forward. Throw in the fact that guys like Harvey, Davis, Wheeler, Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada get another season to grow only makes the picture of the future brighter for the Mets.
For a team that slashed about $50 million in payroll and seemingly no hope or expectations heading into this season, the Mets had been a pleasant surprise and were one of the best stories in baseball before the All-Star break.
No one was talking about finances then.
Maybe they learn from this season and use it to make the most of 2013. Maybe not.
Just remember, this the New York Mets and anything can happen.