The big contracts include over $18 million owed to the departed Jason Bay, $6.5 million to the disappointing Frank Francisco and $25.5 million to the injury-riddled Johan Santana, who may become trade bait by midseason.
After this season, and assuming the Mets smartly do not pick up Santana's $20 million option for 2014 (if he has not been traded), they will not owe a dime to any of these players.
Therefore, the Mets will have an unusually high amount of cap space after 2013. Barring any surprises this season, the outfield will be one of the biggest needs next offseason for the Mets, especially in terms of right-handed power hitters.
Even more, the 2014 Mets will look to seriously contend as their talented prospects reach the majors. They should be buyers that offseason for the first time in a long time. And at this point, the 2014 free-agency class has a deep pool of outfielders available.
Here are some outfielders the Mets should try to sign next offseason: