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Could Mets Have Signed Manny Machado and Stayed Within Budget?

Say what you will about the cheapness of the Wilpons, but they did crack open the bank vault this winter. And we can criticize some of the moves Brodie Van Wagenen made, but he did act boldly in spending this newly found money. But could have signed a real difference-maker like Manny Machado (who was more of a need than Bryce Harper) and still stay within his budget?

Here is whom Van Wagenen did spend the money on, with their total payout and this year’s salary:

Robinson Cano: $100 million total, $19 million this season
Jeurys Familia: $30 million, $6,666,667
Wilson Ramos: $19 million, $8.25 million
Jed Lawrie: $20 million, $8.5 million
Justin Wilson: $10 million, $5 million

This is a total expenditure of $179 million, with $47,416,691 in 2018 salaries.

Undoubtedly, these deal make the Mets a better team this season than in 2018. But could they have been even better?

Here’s what I would have done — sign Machado for seven years, $210 million (for this exercise, let’s assume he takes it). With Machado manning shortstop, Amed Rosario could have been used to headline a trade for J.T. Realmuto, who will is still arbitration-eligible and will be paid $5.9 million this season. Obviously Ramos would not have been signed and Lawrie, already unnecessary, would have been a luxury the Mets could not have afforded. A cheaper backup would have been signed. Familia and Wilson would still be signed, with Familia as the closer since the Cano/Edwin Diaz trade (Cano’s money would have been directed to Machado) would not have happened. So here’s what the off-season would have looked like:

Machado: $210 million, $30 million
Realmuto $5.9 million
Familia: $30 million, $6,666,667
Justin Wilson: $10 million, $5 million

The total is obviously higher at $250 million, but the 2018 salaries are nearly identical at $47,566,667. So yes, the Mets could have signed Machado and stayed within budget.

I have not forgotten that without the Cano deal, Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak would have stayed on the payroll at a combined $22.5 million for 2018. That’s a slight problem. Well, Travis d’Arnaud could have been non-tendered (as he should have, anyway) to save $3,515,000. And maybe Wilson is not signed and we pray Swarzak can turn it around. Or maybe Van Wagenen would have been able to deal one of both of them for salary relief. Who knows?

I do know this — I would much rather have had Machado at short, Realmuto behind the plate and Jeff McNeil at second than Rosario, Ramos and Cano at their respective positions. And it could have happened without blowing up the 2019 budget.

One thought on “Could Mets Have Signed Manny Machado and Stayed Within Budget?

  • Where’s your Closer and infield and outfield depth?

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