Once considered one of the highest spending franchises in Major League Baseball, the New York Mets are now broke and their financial information has gone public. After losing an astonishing $70 million in 2011, GM Sandy Alderson said the team plans to spend less than $100 million in 2012, a $20 million drop-off from last season. In addition, the Mets front office does not plan on signing any more free agents until January.
Thus far this offseason, the Mets have strengthened their bullpen with veterans Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez, as well as swapping center fielder Angel Pagan for Andres Torres of San Francisco, leaving approximately $5 million to spend on other eligible free agents.
With question marks in the middle infield, behind the plate, in the outfield and in the starting rotation, the Mets have many spots to fill with a small amount of cash. After watching Jose Reyes leave for the Marlins, the Mets will need to spend their money wisely on veterans who can last throughout the season.
This list, lacking the superstar names that New York fans expect on a typical free agent radar, are realistic, cost-efficient players that could make an immediate impact on the 2012 Mets. The days of spending $20 million on a player are gone for now; that money now has to last an entire offseason.