The New York Mets are about to receive some help, in the form of Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson. It isn’t the sexy move, the likes of bringing in Justin Upton or Carlos Gomez, but it is the much need help that the offense needed. Goodbye are the days of Eric Campbell and John Mayberry Jr. being slotted in as the No. 4 and No.5 hitters.
And it doesn’t appear that the Mets are done.
They gave up two prospects that wont’ destroy the system, allowing them to have the pieces to make an even bigger splash. There is a larger question that needs to be answered though. What about the future?
Uribe and Johnson are moves for this season, as the two are set to become free agents when the winter begins. When the snow starts to fall on Flushing, the Mets will find themselves in a very similar spot, possibly even worse. Daniel Murphy is set to be a free agent. As of now, David Wright‘s health is a huge question mark. Lucas Duda has struggled this season. The Mets still don’t have a true shortstop. Travis d’Arnaud can’t stay healthy. Curtis Granderson is another year older, and who knows what Michael Cuddyer‘s knee will be like as he gets another year of wear and tear on him.
Quite a few question marks for a team that has the young pitching to get them to the playoffs year after year. And there is the money issue.
It’s been a common story-line throughout this season. The Mets don’t have the financial flexibility to add in a huge salary, and they don’t want to part with one of their top prospects in order to get a Gomez or Upton. It’s why deals like Uribe and Johnson are the type that the Mets will probably make between now and next Friday’s deadline.
We’ve been told that the Mets can add salary where they see fit, but then are told that the insurance on David Wright’s contract and the savings from Jenrry Mejia‘s PED suspension don’t factor into the flexibility.
The Mets have around $4.4 million in savings as of the 22nd, which would expand to $10.5 million in total savings if Wright doesn’t play again in 2015. That’s an extra $10 million that the front office has that according to them doesn’t increase their flexibility. Let’s add in the report from WFAN’s Ed Coleman in which he stated that one of the stumbling blocks in a potential deal for Oakland A’s utility man Ben Zobrist was the Mets unwillingness to take on the reminder of his salary, which was around $3 to $4 million.
Plus, the team needed to get back money in the deal for Uribe and Johnson. A deal in which they were only adding in around $2.7 million. Now how does this all factor into the future?
Well it’s simple. Where is the offense for the Mets going to come from? For their payroll to expand enough to make an impact, they are going to need to make the playoffs. They will have the salary of Bartolo Colon and Murphy coming off the books. Murphy will need to be replaced, and Colon’s spot can be taken by one of the youngsters. The Opening Day payroll for the Mets was $101.3 million. As of now, with Colon and Murphy coming off the books, they will have a payroll of $60 million come winter time. That’s without the aribitration of guys like Matt Harvey, Jeurys Famila and Lucas Duda. Plus they have a ton of guys under team control that need to be signed (including Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom).
Without a playoff run, the Mets may not see their payroll expand much if at all. Sandy Alderson could change the narrative all together, add a bat under control for this year and beyond, take on salary and make me look stupid. But all the moves and talk leading up to next week’s July 31st deadline paints the picture of team that doesn’t have a ton of cash, has a winning team this season, and is going to have a huge problem on their hands this winter. There are six days to change the picture. Six days to change the narrative.