I usually do this initial check of the Mets payroll in August, when we are already looking ahead to the next season. But this year we had other things occupying our minds, so this had to take a back seat. It has been sitting in my drafts for three months (with obvious changes), so any resemblance to Adam Rubin’s recent column on ESPNNewYork.com is merely coincidental.
Matt Harvey: $7,000,000 (est)
Jacob deGrom: $600,000 (est)
Rafael Montero: $600,000 (est)
Noah Syndergaard: 600,000 (est)
Steven Matz: $600,000 (est)
Zack Wheeler: $600,000 (est)
Jeurys Familia: $2,000,000 (est)
Addison Reed: $5,000,000 (est)
Jerry Blevins: $2,400,000 (est)
Sean Gilmartin: $600,000 (est)
Hansel Robles: $600,000 (est)
Erik Goedell: $600,000 (est)
Reliever: $1,000,000 (est)
Travis d’Arnaud: $600,000 (est)
Kevin Plawecki: $600,000 (est)
David Wright: $20,000,000 (actual)
Lucas Duda: $6,000,000 (est)
Wilmer Flores: $600,000 (est)
Dilson Herrera: $600,000 (est)
Kelly Johnson: $2,000,000 (est)
Curtis Granderson: $16,000,000 (actual)
Michael Cuddyer: $12,500,000 (actual)
Juan Lagares: $2,500,000 (actual)
Michael Conforto: $600,000 (est)
The actual salaries are $51 million, with estimates at $33.2 million, for a grand total Mets payroll of $84.2 million.
Now, you may see some familiar names missing. I think Jonathon Niese will be traded. Daniel Murphy, Yoenis Cespedes (maybe), Bartolo Colon and Tyler Clippard will not be resigned. The arbitration-eligible Carlos Torres will not be tendered, and it is very likely that Ruben Tejada, despite his rallying injury, will not be tendered, either. A probable $3 million is just too much for him. I may be wrong about these, but this is my working premise for now.
I do think they might re-sign Blevins and Johnson. Juan Uribe is a longshot because he might be too expensive (he made $6.5 million this season and would have to take a huge pay cut). And I think Reed will be tendered.
Harvey and Familia are first-year arbitration-eligible, hence the bump in their salaries. Duda is in his second year.
In any case, at nearly $85 million, the Mets have plenty of room to improve the team, if you think a payroll of $110 million is realistic. I think it is. They had around $100 million this year, and the post-season revenue and success should result in a hike.
The missing link, of course, is the big bat the Mets will need. Even if they pay Cespedes or anyone else $20 million, it would fit into the payroll. Whether the Mets want to go that route is their choice, but there is room.
I will be checking in on the Mets payroll all winter as the roster takes shape, so check back very, very often.