2013 Contract Issues: New York Mets

The Mets are next in MLBTR’s 2013 Contract Issues series:

Eligible For Free Agency (6)

  • D.J. Carrasco - Carrasco, currently in DFA limbo, has no reason to expect a roster spot in 2013, since he's no longer a member of this year's team.
  • Jon Rauch - Rauch has seen his strikeout rate dip to 4.9 K/9 so far this year, and he's generating fewer swings and misses than before. It would be understandable if the Mets' confidence in Rauch were diminishing.
  • Ramon Ramirez - A one-year, Major League contract seems like the most probable outcome for Ramirez this offseason.
  • Ronny Cedeno - The addition of Cedeno has been a success so far, and he's still just 29. Presumably he'd prefer a starting job if one's available to him as a free agent.
  • Scott Hairston - Hairston remains a capable extra outfielder, though it's too early to know what the Mets' outfield needs will be this winter. Alternatively, the Mets could stick with internal options like Mike Baxter.
  • Tim Byrdak - Byrdak has been effective as a Met and could be a fit again in 2013. He won't obtain a qualifying offer from the front office, nor will any of the team's other free agents.

Contract Options (2)

  • David Wright: $16MM club option with a $1MM buyout. Wright can void option if traded. The Mets will exercise Wright's option and they're expected to try to work out an extension with the hot-hitting third baseman. Wright leads the NL in batting average (.411) and on-base percentage (.513), so he'll be paid like a superstar on his next contract.
  • R.A. Dickey: $5MM club option with a $300K buyout. Dickey will be a bargain for this price, and I expect the Mets to exercise the option.

Arbitration Eligible (8)

Pelfrey will presumably be non-tendered, and Acosta will have to pitch better to avoid a similar fate this December. It's possible Torres could be non-tendered despite his defense and .352 on-base percentage. His salary ($2.7MM this year) is on the rise and the Mets have outfielders Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Jason Bay. Though four of the Mets' key players will head to arbitration for the first time this winter, this doesn't figure to be a prohibitively expensive class, assuming Pelfrey obtains his release.

2013 Payroll Obligation

The Mets have committed $54.5MM to next year's payroll, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. Their 2012 payroll is below $100MM for the first time since 2004, but they may be able to spend more freely now that the team's owners have reached a settlement to resolve their involvement in Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

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