Adam Rubin of ESPN New York did some calculations tonight, and came to the conclusion that the current Mets payroll is just shy of $86 million.
To reach that number, Rubin added up contracts that are already on the books, what arbitration eligible players are slated to make, and what it will cost to round the roster out after that.
According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the Mets had an opening day payroll in 2013 that was just north of $93 million. However, the Mets’ accounting had last year’s payroll at $87 million.
Earlier this offseason, general manager Sandy Alderson told reporters that the 2014 payroll would not be lower than the 2013 payroll. If the Mets make any other signings of note this offseason, the 2014 payroll will indeed be above the 2013 payroll.
Let’s get this out of the way…
A team in New York, that’s entrenched and has been around for over 50 years, should not be operating with a payroll between $85 million and $95 million.
The Mets, though, just emerged from the Bernard Madoff mess, are coming off five straight losing seasons (that’s resulted in plummeting attendance), and just shed a couple of burdensome contracts.
Additionally, even though the payroll will likely be relatively light heading into 2014, the Mets did invest significant dollars this offseason in Curtis Granderson, Bartolo Colon, and Chris Young. There’s also a decent possibility they’ll sign Stephen Drew as well.
The Mets’ payroll should be higher. As is noted above, though, there are lots of reasons why it hasn’t yet returned to where it should be.
That’s not something most fans will accept, but no one will care if the team plays well.