During a Q & A with season ticket holders on Saturday, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson intimated that the Mets do not have the flexibility to increase payroll in-season:
On payroll going up, Alderson said ask again after season.
— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) June 14, 2014
The above shouldn’t come as a surprise.
A few weeks ago, Alderson – in what is a clear directive from ownership – said that attendance would predicate payroll. The Mets’ attendance in 2014, especially lately, has continued to trend downward.
The Mets are in dire need of offensive help, and they could always deal for younger/less expensive players who wouldn’t necessitate a payroll increase.
However, it’s an enormous problem that the Mets are apparently unwilling to take on salary during the season if the opportunity to acquire a long-term but expensive offensive piece materializes.
It’s possible the Mets could deal a few pieces (Bartolo Colon is one example) in order to land prospects and free money, but they don’t have anyone to deal whose removal from the roster would free up the money necessary to go after a high-priced bat (think Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Kemp types).
The refusal to raise payroll in-season is also another thing that flies in the face of Alderson’s preseason goal of 90 wins. The club is in phenomenal position pitching wise, and could actually contend if they addressed the offense. The Mets have the pieces needed to acquire a substantial bat, but are apparently having their hands tied by ownership.