When I started working on this last week the Mets were eight and a half games out of first place and the season appeared to be over. Now they are back in it, but it is never too early to look forward to next season (plus I hate wasting work!). So here is a breakdown of what the Mets 2022 payroll might look like:
Jacob deGrom: $36,000,000 (actual)
Noah Syndergaard: $20,000,000 (QO estimate)
Carlos Carrasco: $12,000,000 (actual)
David Peterson: $600,000 (estimate)
Taijuan Walker: $8,000,000 (actual)
Joey Lucchesi: $2,000,000 (est)
Trevor May: $7,750,000 (actual)
Seth Lugo: $5,000,000 (est)
Edwin Diaz: $10,000,000 (est)
Miguel Castro: $3,000,000 (est)
Robert Gsellman: $2,000,000 (est)
Drew Smith: $2,000,000 (est)
James McCann: $8,150,000 (actual)
Tomas Nido: $2,000,000 (est)
Pete Alonso: $10,000,000 (est)
J.D. Davis: $4,000,000 (est)
Jeff McNeil: $5,000,000 (est)
Francisco Lindor: $34,100,000 (actual)
Luis Guillorme: $2,000,000 (est)
Robinson Cano: $20,250,000 (actual)
Brandon Drury: $2,000,000 (est)
Michael Conforto: $20,000,000 (QO estimate)
Brandon Nimmo: $7,000,000 (est)
Dominic Smith: $4,000,000 (est)
Kevin Pillar: $1,400,000 (buyout)
So there is $127,650,000 in actual salaries the Mets must pay. Then there is approximately $40 million in qualifying offers (assuming Syndergaard and Conforto both take the offer to rebuild their value). Add in $60 million in arbitration estimates and one renewal at about $600,000 (so many Mets are graduating to arbitration this offseason), and that brings us to a grand total of $228,250,000.
That is a lot of money. And that is before the Mets even attempt to improve the team by signing free agents or making trades. And it blows past whatever the luxury tax threshold will be (this year it was at $210 million), as well as surpassing the Mets 2021 Opening Day payroll of $195 million. The main culprits? — Lindor gets a $12 million raise, guys like Alonso and McNeil are eligible for arbitration, and of course, Cano’s $20 million is back on the books.
This means the Mets will likely have to be luxury tax payers for the first time. Unless they just try to dump some salary (maybe letting Syndergaard and Conforto walk) and go into next season with basically the same team. And that is a recipe for losing — if what we have seen from the team this season is any indication.
In any case, it is way too early to speculate what the 2022 roster will look like. After all, there will almost certainly be a new front office team making the decisions (unless Steve Cohen somehow allows Sandy Alderson to keep his office in Flushing). So who knows?