Do the Mets want to shed payroll next year? Yes.
They can still do that and keep Reyes.
At this point, the Mets are committed to $66.83MM in contracts for the 2013 season
- Johan Santana - $24MM
- Jason Bay - $18.13MM
- David Wright - $15.25MM
- R.A. Dickey - $4.25MM
- Francisco Rodriguez - $3.5MM minimum if the option doesn't kick in
- D.J. Carrasco - $1.2MM
They have five players eligible for arbitration making $9.80MM. If they keep all these guys, expect this number to go up.
- Mike Pelfrey - currently making $3.92MM
- Angel Pagan - making $3.5MM
- Ronny Paulino - making $1.35MM
- Taylor Bucholz - making $600M
- Bobby Parnell - making $433M
They have the following contracts coming off the payroll totaling $57MM
- Carlos Beltran - $20.07MM
- Jose Reyes - $11MM
- Ryota Igarashi - $1.75MM
- Chris Capuano - $1.5MM
- Scott Hairston - $1.1MM
- Chris Young - $1.1MM
- Tim Byrdak - $900M
- Willie Harris - $800M
- Jason Isringhausen - (I don't have this salary figure)
- Oliver Perez - $12MM
- Luis Castillo - $6MM
- Gary Matthews, Jr. - $1MM
The rest of the team is making less than $500M, is under team control and is not arbitration eligible - thus keeping salaries low.
The Mets Opening Day payroll was $142.79MM.
If you just take the money that's coming off the payroll next year - we're at almost $86MM. Bump that figure up for the raises the arbitration guys will get. The Mets can give Jose a $20MM/year contract and still be in the $110MM payroll range (provided K-Rod's option clause doesn't kick in). The only other free agent I can at this point even see the Mets having any interest in is Capuano - but with next year's projected rotation of Santana, Dickey, Niese, Pelfrey and Gee already in place and the young arms in the system - they'll be able to afford to let Capuano go.
Are the Mets losing money? Yes. But will they lose more if they don't spend it on Reyes?
Without having access to the books, I can't make that call.