New York Mets News

Ken Rosenthal says Rockies should trade Carlos Gonzalez…can Mets afford him?

By Danny Abriano

In a piece Tuesday for Fox Sports, Ken Rosenthal suggested that the Rockies – in an effort to better equip themselves for the future – should trade outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.

May 8, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Colorado Rockies designated hitter Carlos Gonzalez (5) bats during the game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Texas won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockies have so far been reluctant to part with Gonzalez, but their stance on Gonzalez is not nearly as firm as their position on Troy Tulowitzki – who will almost certainly not be moved.

Writes Rosenthal:

"Gonzalez’s trade value, like every other Colorado hitter’s value, is diminished by his road performance. Entering this season, his career OPS was .992 at home, .774 on the road. This season, his splits are even more dramatic: .983 at home, .610 on the road.OK, but if you haven’t noticed, teams everywhere are looking for power. Gonzalez has power. He’s in his prime. And the rest of his contract isn’t outlandish, considering that a team would get his age 29, 30 and 31 seasons."

Gonzalez’ home/road splits are definitely something to take into consideration.

For his career, in an almost identical number of at-bats, Gonzalez has hit .330 at Coors Field and .262 on the road. He’s hit 80 home runs at home and just 53 on the road.

Still, Gonzalez is in his prime and the exact type of player the Mets should be looking for.

If Gonzalez becomes available and the Rockies seek pitching in return, the Mets will be in a great position to land him.

The question, is whether the Mets can afford to take on Gonzalez’ contract.

Here’s what general manager Sandy Alderson said on May 27:

"I do believe the payroll will go up if we generate the type of revenue that supports that. That’s why we have to win."

Gonzalez is owed $16.4 million in 2015, $17.4 million in 2016, and $20.4 million in 2017.

At the moment, the Mets have a shade over $54 million committed for 2015. Add to that roughly $20 million for arbitration eligible players and another $7 million or so for the players making around the league minimum, and the Mets are at about $81 million for 2015 before making any additional moves.

Adding Carlos Gonzalez’ salary to what the Mets are already on the hook for in 2015 would bring their payroll to just under $100 million. Their current payroll is a hair under $85 million.

If you’re taking Alderson’s comments at face value, it’s hard to envision the Mets having the payroll flexibility to take Gonzalez’ contract on – unless fans start turning out at Citi Field in droves. And that would be a damn shame.

What Alderson said regarding attendance predicating payroll (and what he’s tried to walk back a bit) is a clear directive from ownership. What ownership needs to realize, is that their current business model of “when fans show up, we’ll increase payroll” is as backwards as it gets.

Mets fans all hope that if push comes to shove in the near future, the club will increase the payroll for a player who’s deemed to be worth it.