It pains me to have to write this post so early; after all, the Mets were busy contending for the postseason the past two Septembers, so there were other things on which to concentrate. Not this year, though. So here is what the possible 2018 Mets payroll could look like, and how much money they have to spend after shedding the contracts of several high-priced players.
Matt Harvey: $6,000,000 (arbitration estimate)
Jacob deGrom: $7,000,000 (arb est)
Zack Wheeler: $1,000,000 (arb est)
Noah Syndergaard: $2,000,000 (arb est)
Steven Matz: $600,000 (est)
Jeurys Familia: $8,000,000 (arb est)
Jerry Blevins: $7,000,000 (actual)
A.J. Ramos $7,500,000 (arb est)
Robert Gsellman: $600,000 (est)
Seth Lugo: $600,000 (est)
Paul Seward: $600,000 (est)
Erik Goedell: $600,000 (est)
Travis d’Arnaud: $2,000,000 (arb est)
Kevin Plawecki: $600,000 (est)
David Wright: $20,000,000 (actual)
Wilmer Flores: $3,500,000 (arb est)
Jose Reyes: $2,000,000 (free agent est)
Dominic Smith: $600,000 (est)
Amed Rosario: $600,000 (est)
T.J. Rivera: $600,000 (est)
Yoenis Cespedes: $29,000,000 (actual)
Juan Lagares: $6,500,000 (actual)
Michael Conforto: $600,000 (est)
Brandon Nimmo: $600,000 (est)
The Mets have $62,500,000 tied up in committed salaries for next season. The arbitration and free agent estimate is another $39,000,000, with $6,600,000 allocated for players who will make near the major league minimum. That figure is actually $545,000, but for our purposes, I set it at $600,000. That’s a grand total of $107,100,000 (and that does not include one starting outfielder).
The Mets payroll on Opening Day this season was $154,000,000, which was likely $14,000,000 more than the Wilpons wanted to spend, but Sandy Alderson convinced them to raise it so they could make a deep October run. That didn’t happen and Alderson will probably not get the same rope again. So let’s assume the payroll will be closer to $140,000,000.
Which means the Mets have roughly $30,000,000 to spend. And they have holes at second base, third base, one outfield slot, almost an entirely new bullpen and possibly catcher — all while remaining a contender. It seems unlikely that Alderson can stretch that $30,000,000 to fill all of those holes. So he has a long winter ahead of him.
I’ll be doing this all winter, so check back often. Daily, even. I can use the clicks!