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What would the 2019 Mets look like with Manny Machado on the roster?

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 14: Manny Machado #13 of the San Diego Padres smiles during batting practice before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 14: Manny Machado #13 of the San Diego Padres smiles during batting practice before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MAY 02: Manny Machado #13 of the San Diego Padres reacts after scoring on a RBI single by Wil Myers #4 in the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on May 02, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Let’s Talk Money

Financially, we would have to assume the Mets aren’t taking on anything more than what they actually did spend this offseason. Once again, for the sake of keeping it simple, let’s say Machado’s contract is the same one he actually did sign.

Machado’s average annual salary of $30 million makes it easier to figure out where they could have spent differently. Lowrie’s $10 million commitment in 2019 and 2020 accounts for one-third of what Machado will make in each year. This means we still need to find another $20 million in savings.

The trade with the Seattle Mariners which brought Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to Flushing wouldn’t have been possible—at least the Cano part. Though the trade doesn’t increase the payroll significantly this year or next, it will in the future. In which case, Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak are still here or possibly traded elsewhere in a similar swap of bad contracts.

Other additions made by the Mets this offseason to think about include Jeurys Familia ($10 million AAV), Wilson Ramos ($9.5 AAV, plus a team option), and Justin Wilson ($5 million AAV). To find the other $20 million we’re not allowing the Mets to spend, this means we would have to pass on Familia and Ramos. There’s still another half a million unaccounted for, but let’s call it even.

This leaves the Mets with few major moves over the winter. Perhaps instead of signing Ramos, they upgrade behind the plate via trade. Even then, the payroll would increase. There are more affordable backstops out there. Pick any you want and pretend he doesn’t do much at all.

Now, the Mets could have non-tendered Travis d’Arnaud a contract and used that many to sign someone like James McCann for catching duties. This doesn’t correlate at all with trying to get Machado.

However, if they really had their eyes set on him, maybe they cut d’Arnaud to save the dough. Let’s say they do and McCann is the catcher they sign for the same $2.5 million he’s earning with the Chicago White Sox this year. Suddenly, the Mets have actually saved money.

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