The idea of a $300 million payroll is coming possibly even to the New York Mets as soon as next year. They actually aren’t so far from it right now with a total AAV/tax payroll of $272,271,796. They are already one big signing away from reaching it.
Next year’s salaries already include over $219 million. This total does include the contracts of all players on options or with opt-outs but doesn’t invite any arbitration eligible players like Pete Alonso.
Not every Mets free agent or option will be picked up. Even so, it’s easy to see how $300 million can be achieved rather quickly.
How the Mets will easily reach a $300 million payroll next year
Shooting Jacob deGrom up from $30.5 million to $50 million raises the payroll from $219 million to $249.5 million. Add in another $12 million for Alonso, we get to $261.5 million already.
Re-signing Edwin Diaz will cost at least an AAV of $18 million. That brings us to $279.5 million and the team hasn’t even touched players from outside of the organization.
There are some subtractions to make. Between Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, and Taijuan Walker, there is already a potential $39 million on next year’s payroll. None of the options the three have look viable either from a player or team perspective. Rather than subtract the $39 million, let’s just assume the Mets do have two pitchers on the roster next year making a combined $35 million AAV. This allows us to reasonably subtract $4 million, bringing things down to $275.5 million.
At this point, the Mets still don’t have Brandon Nimmo under contract and the bullpen is completely up in the air. Jeff McNeil hasn’t received his arbitration raise nor have several others. A contract with Nimmo could have an AAV of $15 million which then brings us all the way up to $290.5 million. Let’s say McNeil’s salary only goes from $3 million to $5 million. We’re now at $295.5 million and the team has no bullpen to speak of. If my math is correct—which is probably went astray at some point—the Mets are now only a single veteran relief pitcher away from topping $300 million in 2023.
It’s inevitable. It’s likely. It’s going to happen. Whatever numbers you want to attach to each player with a question mark, it looks like Steve Cohen is going to break some records and maybe a few piggybanks to pay for his team.