Mets Putting Themselves In Good Financial Shape For Future

Over the past five seasons – all below .500 – the New York Mets were bogged down by cumbersome contracts to unproductive players. It was economic certainty, but in a bad way.

This should be the third consecutive year the Mets will have a payroll of less than $100 million. They have long pointed to 2015 as when they will put themselves in a competitive position, and are currently set up to do so with payroll flexibility through 2019.

Heading into 2015, the Mets have $54.05 million earmarked to four players: David Wright ($20 million), Curtis Granderson ($16 million), Bartolo Colon ($11 million) and Jonathon Niese ($7.05 million).

Where teams usually get bit in their payroll is during the arbitration process and the Mets will have eight players eligible: Daniel Murphy, Bobby Parnell, Dillon Gee, Ike Davis, Eric Young, Lucas Duda, Jenrry Mejia and Ruben Tejada.

Of the eight, it is possible four – Davis, Young, Duda and Tejada – could be gone, with some before the end of this season.

Only one player is scheduled to be a free agent after this year and that’s Chris Young, who nobody expects to be back.

In 2016, the Mets have $45.05 million designated for three players: Wright ($20 million), Granderson ($16 million) and Niese $9.050 million).

Their arbitration eligible list that off-season expands to 14 to leave open the possibility for a significant payroll spike. The list includes: Gee, Davis, Eric Young, Duda, Tejada, Scott Rice, Matt Harvey, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Mejia, Josh Edgin, Jeurys Familia, Anthony Recker, Andrew Brown and Carlos Torres.

By this time, there’s no telling who will still be in the organization. Harvey and possibly Gee could be given multi-year deals by then. Everybody else is up the air. It’s also questionable if Nieuwenhuis and Brown will still be around, as neither one has made serious strides in sticking around.

Their 2016 free agents will be Colon, Murphy and Parnell.

In 2017, the Mets have $35.5 million earmarked for Wright ($20 million), Granderson ($15 million) and a half-million buyout for Niese.

Their arbitration eligible players will be Duda, Tejada, Rice, Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Nieuwenhuis, Mejia, Edgin, Torres. Familia, Recker and Brown, with their free agents Gee, Davis and Eric Young.

Wright ($20 million) is the only player under contract for 2018. The arbitration eligible Mets will be Rice, Harvey, Nieuwenhuis, Torres. Mejia, Edgin, Familia, Recker, Wheeler and Brown. That year Granderson, Duda and Tejada will be free agents.

In 2019 they’ll owe Wright $15 million, with Torres and Wheeler the only Mets who are arbitration eligible. Potential free agents will be Rice, Harvey, Nieuwenhuis, Mejia, Edgin, Familia, Recker and Brown.

The Mets have long talked about cutting payroll costs to put themselves in position to seriously enter the free-agent market. It now appears they might actually be able to do it.

7 thoughts on “Mets Putting Themselves In Good Financial Shape For Future

  1. Pingback: Morning Briefing: 4 more years for Sandy? | All New York Mets

  2. A lot of factors are overlooked here: first off, you forgot to consider the payment the Wilpons still have to make for their Bernie Madoff settlement. That amounts to $91 million and comes due in March of 2016. While that is not a Mets debt obligation, per se, it is a Wilpon debt, we have to suppose that it will impact what they will spend on this expensive toy of theirs that MLB refers to as the New York Mets.
    We might be able to assume that the added revenues from MLB’s new TV deals will cover that, but that money doesn’t come in all at once, and will be earmarked for the Madoff debt. In other words, status quo, or only slight payroll increases until that time.

    That aside, if you’re going to go as far down as 2016 or 2017, you have to keep in mind that guys like Wheeler and Harvey are going to cost a hell of a lot more in arbitration than the guys we have there now. Taking it a step further,we’re hoping for (and counting on) guys like Flores, Syndergard, Montero, d’Arnaud to be big time players and make a big impact on the club. If that happens, most of them will be eligible for arbitration before 2017 where they, too, will get bigger money by then than guys like Duda, Davis, and Parnell.

    No matter how you slice it, free agency will need to be the supplement to further building this team. The bread and butter will be that as young players come up these next 2 or 3 years, trade the vets before they before they become free agents, and keep bringing back minor leaguers in exchange.
    Example: Flores proves he’s ready to hit at this level and can play 2B, you trade Murphy since he’s a free agent after 2015 anyway.
    Similar deal for Gee, Colon, and Niese as Harvey, Wheeler, Syndergard AND Montero emerge to replace (and even exceed) them.

    • Nessim: One thing I would like to see, if they continue to develop, is to avoid arbitration with Wheeler and Harvey by signing them to long-term contracts early. … The payment on the Madoff settlement was determined Saturday with the re-fi. … I agree with you 100 percent in that the Mets have to be more aggressive in the free-agent market because there’s little in the minors regarding position players.-JD