2012 Contract Issues: New York Mets

The Mets are next in our 2012 Contract Issues series.  Here's what the team faces after the 2011 season:

Eligible For Free Agency (9)

  • Jose Reyes has spent his entire career with the Mets, and Beltran has been with them since the '05 season.  There seems little chance of either player being re-signed.  Both are playing well on the young season and should do well in free agency.  They're also midseason trade candidates, with Reyes expected to fetch more given his lower salary.  At $18.5MM, Beltran might be mostly a salary dump even if he's healthy and hitting.
  • Sandy Alderson imports Chris Capuano, Chris Young, Tim Byrdak, Jason Isringhausen, Scott Hairston, and Willie Harris are up for free agency again, as well as Ryota Igarashi.  Several of the pitchers may be traded this summer if healthy and pitching decently.

Contract Options (1)

  • Francisco Rodriguez: $17.5MM club option with a $3.5MM buyout.  Guaranteed with 55 games finished.  K-Rod needs 47 more games finished to cause his option to vest.  It can be done; he finished 57 from May onward in 2009.  The Mets will either have to trade him to a team with an established closer or be very careful about his usage.

Arbitration Eligible (4)

Pelfrey has posted one good start in six tries this year.  A lousy platform year might hold down his arbitration raise, but he could still reach $6-7MM.  The Mets could consider trading or even non-tendering the 27-year-old righty.  Pagan has been brutal and Paulino has been out of the picture, though Buchholz has been a nice find.  For the sake of argument, I could see Pelfrey, Pagan, and Buchholz earning $14MM in total in 2012.

2012 Payroll Obligation

The Mets' 2012 payroll obligation, according to Cot's, is $66.83MM, including Rodriguez's buyout.  If the Mets save $10MM+ by unloading Reyes, Beltran, and Rodriguez at the trade deadline, will that money go to next year's payroll?  Will Pelfrey be worth keeping around next year at $6-7MM?  Even if the Mets' financial problems result in a payroll drop to the $100MM range, Alderson should still have $20MM to play with.  A minority stake in the team could be sold by July, but Mets ownership will likely still be embroiled in a billion-dollar lawsuit when the 2011-12 offseason arrives.  When the Mets finally have a clean financial slate, there should be a lot of payroll space to work with.


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26 Comments on "2012 Contract Issues: New York Mets"


PostMoBills
4 years 3 months ago

I really hope Jose Reyes signs with the Mets.

TheHotCorner
4 years 3 months ago

Would be nice to see Reyes stay in NY. With their financial mess right now (thanks Bernie) I just wonder if it is possible. Has there been any mention from Reye’s camp as to what he is looking in regards to years/dollars?

diehardmets
4 years 3 months ago

Everyone seems to put the chance of the Mets resigning Reyes at next to none. I disagree. Any met fan with half a brain could discern that Reyes is the spark to the Mets offense. If he goes, the offense goes. I think there’s more then a fair chance that Alderson resigns Reyes, especially with all the money coming off the books.

Blue387
4 years 3 months ago

I like Pagan a lot and hope he bounces back and stays with the team.

East Coast Bias
4 years 3 months ago

I like that Jason Pridie kid a lot. Actually, Mets have a SS in Wilmer Flores if Reyes is no longer with the team. Or they can move him to 2nd base and keep Reyes at SS.

4 years 3 months ago

Wilmer Flores will never, ever play a middle infield position in the major leagues. Plus he’s 19 and several years away from making it to the show, IF he makes it. He’s in single-A right now and slugging .388. The Mets’ system is completely devoid of middle infield prospects, so they might as well just extend Reyes. Four years, $65M, get it done.

4 years 3 months ago

two years – $30M

HobokenMetsFan
4 years 3 months ago

I’m also surprised why everyone automatically thinks Reyes will be gone next year. Alderson as repeatedly said that while not the #1 factor, that fan input, is important to the decision making process. (See Castillo released)

After the past 4 years in particular, Mets fans are a little beaten down. Nothing seems to go right for them either on or off the field. Trading Reyes or letting him walk at seasons end may just be too much for us (the fans) to handle.

We here on mlbtraderumors and various other Mets and baseball blogs know all about Reyes’ potential and pitfalls, however the casual fan (who makes up a MUCH MUCH MUCH larger percentage of the fanbase) will see Reyes leaving as “Oh there go the dumb Mets again, letting him go all because of money issues, etc….” Citi field will be even emptier next year if he goes.

Sandy certainly has his work cut out for him. However I think, and this is a total gut feeling with no hard evidence to prove it, that Reyes WILL get extended mid year. It’ll come out of no where and surprise everyone.

4 years 3 months ago

FWIW, it will be Pagan’s 4th year of arbitration. He was arb eligible for the first time as a Super Two following the ’08 season.

4 years 3 months ago

Good point.

4 years 3 months ago

Failing to re-sign Reyes creates two huge holes: SS and leadoff hitter. There’s nobody in the organization who would be remotely capable of filling either role. Unless you get a truly outstanding package of prospects in return I don’t see why you don’t just re-sign him.

troya_ruse
4 years 3 months ago

Look, this team is not one or two players, or even one or two years away, from competing. Look around the national league- Philly, Colorado, San Fran, Florida, Milwaukee, Cinci- these teams are for real, and they’re going to be good for a while. Even with an expanded playoff structure, the Mets will not be making the postseason next year.

Sandy needs to take serious action and make drastic moves just to make this team competitive in 2013-4. That will include cutting some of the current players (see ya, Pelf) and trading some of the others while he can still get young talent in return. If that means moving Reyes, K-Rod, and Beltran during this season, I’ll all for it. If it means trading Chris Young, Capuano, Beato, and Isringhausen, I would support it (buy low and sell high, right?). If it means trading Wright, Pagan and Bay in the offseason, so be it. Even if it means doing business with the Yankees and Phillies, I would grudgingly approve. As long as we’re gonna suck, I’d rather do it knowing that there is a plan for the team to be good in a few years.

As it relates to Reyes, why pay a guy $20m a year over 5 years to be on a team that isn’t going anywhere for the first 2-3 years of that contract? By the time the team is ready to contend, Reyes will be in his early 30s and may be nowhere near the player he is now; then you’re saddled with a large contract and a guy whose ego won’t allow him to bat anywhere but leadoff and play SS. Then we will be exactly in the same place we have found ourselves numerous times over the past few years.

East Coast Bias
4 years 3 months ago

There is a lot of money coming off the books this year, and as much as they don’t act like it at times, the Mets are still a big market team. If they extend Reyes, they can get enough free agent talent around him to contend.

gursk1989
4 years 3 months ago

Because the fans will be upset and lose interest with the team. He is one of the only players on the Mets who doesn’t look dead when he plays, and watching him, when healthy, is exciting and people buy tickets to see him.

troya_ruse
4 years 3 months ago

You bring up an interesting point. I don’t know how much revenue Reyes generates in terms of ticket sales, jersey sales, TV viewers, etc. But the fact is that he’s currently playing on the team- and is actually playing quite well- yet Citi Field’s attendance has never been lower. My point is that if the team is winning, the fans will show up- and having Reyes there would make it an even better experience for them. But if the team isn’t winning, then it doesn’t really matter who’s playing shortstop, because many (not all) fans don’t want to spend their hard-earned money on a losing product.

EveryOtherUsernameIsTaken
4 years 3 months ago

It would seem to me that making Reyes a reasonable but not bank-breaking offer before the trade dealine – say 5 years, $70 million if he’s healthy and productive – would be a smart move. That way the Mets get to try to re-sign him without competing with offers from other teams, and if Reyes turns it down they can trade him and tell the fanbase that they tried to re-sign him.

4 years 3 months ago

Letting Reyes go is the most rediculous action the makes can take. There is no one that can replace him, and the thought of him becoming a Yankee or Philly is sickening.
I disagree with the naysayers that make the Mets out to be years away from contention.
We are set at third, first, short, catching, at least two outfield positions. Our line up is as good as anybody’s. We are a pitcher plus Santanna and an outfielder away from being a contender. If Pagan resumes where he left off last year our outfield is set.
If Murphy can play second it adds to an already potent lineup.
We are seven and three in our last ten games so lets be patient before we write this team off.

Jim McGrath
4 years 3 months ago

If the Mets want to move some payroll how about Beltran for JD Drew and a prospect?
Both are in their walk years and it appears Drew may be retiring–the Mets save $5 M and the sox get Beltran and a prospect.
If the Mets are really looking to move more $$ talk Reyes and Beltran for JD and some prospects…

MetsEventually
4 years 3 months ago

I agree, but he’s the most inconsistent pitcher on the team.

YaGottaBelieve11
4 years 3 months ago

I want to know at what point does Pelfrey gets the DJ Carrasco treatment? I doubt he is out of options, so when does this front office, who was made it’s decisions this season based on performance alone, option him down to AAA? Dillon Gee is up on the major league squad still, and he has proven he can at least throw strikes that don’t result in laser beams sprayed all over the field. Any chance when Parnell comes back it’s Pelf that gets moved down? Should be considered at this point.

Bino9
4 years 3 months ago

Johan is still at least 2 and a half months away from returning. I don’t see him coming back until at least right after the All Star break. I said same thing when Beltran was put on DL last year and he came back at that time even though he needed more time to recover, so don’t expect Johan back anytime soon

4 years 3 months ago

now that ollie is gone

tacko
4 years 3 months ago

Let’s not forget #31.

gursk1989
4 years 3 months ago

I wanna see Ike Davis, too!

tdw815
4 years 3 months ago

I would like to see #5 & #7 to but if Wright doesn’t stop striking out so much and Reyes doesn’t stays healthy neither of them will be.

YaGottaBelieve11
4 years 3 months ago

Ollie was consistently bad.. Pelf is consistently inconsistent