As Mets fans, we all know what we’re thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day — a second straight playoff appearance, the young starters, a promising 2017. But it is baseball free agents who are the most thankful this season, because they are set to cash in like never before.
Already this off-season, 73-year-old Bartolo Colon scored $12.5 million, an incredibly average Josh Reddick got $52 million for four years, middle reliever Brett Cecil received $30.5 million for four years (which means Jerry Blevins will get a multi-year offer that will price him out of Flushing) and catcher Juan Castro, who hit a whopping .210 this season but is apparently a good pitch framer, got $8 million a year for three years.
This gives me concerns about what Yoenis Cespedes, an actual good player, might command. At this rate, he could get $30 million per year, which the Mets would not match. There are reports the Mets are comfortable with four years at $100-$110 million. Even that would stretch the budget to the max, requiring some salary-dumping, likely Jay Bruce.
While the rest of baseball is raising its payrolls, the Mets likely want to keep things where they were last year, which was around $140 million. While that is up substantially from the $85 million in 2014, the Mets might need to raise their budget in order to keep pace with the rest of the league. It is not clear if they are prepared to do that.
But let’s not dwell on that on Thanksgiving. Let’s think about how good the Mets could be in 2017. Oh, and how we all should have become mediocre baseball players. What a turkey we’d be able to afford!