According to Marc Carig, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson stated earlier that the 2014 payroll would not be lower than the payroll was in 2013:
Mets using payroll figure of $87 million from last season. Alderson says ’14 payroll won’t be below that number.
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) November 19, 2013
At present, the Mets have a shade over $25 million committed to player salaries for 2014. However, that number will rise to roughly $55 million after all of the arbitration eligible players are accounted for.
According to Cot’s baseball contracts, the Mets’ 2013 payroll was roughly $93 million (which included Johan Santana’s $5.5 million dollar buyout). The Mets aren’t factoring that buyout in to the 2013 figure, which is why their figure is roughly $87 million.
Before today’s payroll guarantee from Alderson, there were some who thought the Mets would head into the 2014 campaign with a payroll far lower than it was in 2013.
Now that Alderson has stuck his (really ownership’s) neck out, the chances of the Mets heading into 2014 with a payroll lower than it was last year appear to be close to zilch.
The refrain will now be “the Mets will only have an $87 million dollar payroll,” but nobody will know what the payroll number is until the end of March. Even if the Mets’ payroll is $87 million (I think they’ll spend close to $40 million, making the payroll roughly $95 million), it would mean they spent between $30 million and $35 million on external acquisitions.