Before GM Sandy Alderson passed out at the press conference today at Citi Field, he offered these nuggets:
* Said he anticipates the 2016 Opening Day payroll to exceed the $103 million it was this season. “We ended up higher than the $103 [million] because of the additions we made at the [trade] deadline,’’ Alderson said. “So my hope is we’ll start with a somewhat higher payroll – I don’t know exactly what that will be – than we started [at] last year. And we’ll have room at the deadline to make acquisitions, as we did this year.’’
The key addition was outfielder Yoenis Cespedes in a trade from Detroit. Whether of not the Mets can retain the free-agent-to-be, Alderson said the trade was a success.
ALDERSON: Dishes on topics. (AP)
* Despite their glut in starting pitching, Alderson said the Mets were open to re-signing free-agent Bartolo Colon to a bullpen role.
At 42, Colon was 14-13 with a 4.16 ERA in 194 2/3 regular-season innings, but went to the bullpen for the playoffs.
“He proved in the postseason that he can pitch out of the pen,’’ Alderson said. “Whether he would do that on a full-time basis, or be a swing man/middle guy, or even step into the rotation in the event of injuries, I think we’re still open-minded about the possibility of Bartolo.’’
* Said the probability was small of trading one of their young starters – Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey or Steven Matz – for offensive help, despite the long odds of re-signing Cespedes.
“I can’t see it happening,’’ Alderson said. “You never know what comes up. But I think it’s unlikely.’’
Even so, don’t forget the Mets agreed to a deal at the deadline what would have sent Zack Wheeler to Milwaukee for outfield Carlos Gomez.
* Said the Mets were undecided as to whether they will extend a qualifying offer to Daniel Murphy.
Alderson, as he frequently does, danced around the issue: “Take it out of the Murphy context. I think you have to start with whether you want the player back. If you decide the answer is yes, then it’s easy to make a qualifying offer.
“If you decide no, then you get to the question of, for gamesmanship purposes, whether making a qualifying offer is a good idea. Murph has been a great player for us over the years. He’s been a Met over his entire career. So we’re going to make that decision a little later this week.’’
Alderson fainted because he had not eaten breakfast and was dehydrated. He was examined by a Mets trainer and deemed all right.