Earlier this week, Mets chairman & CEO Fred Wilpon offered an optimistic vision of the club's finances and inferred that the team should have some financial flexibility going forward. Sandy Alderson hasn't had the chance to work with a significant payroll, but Wilpon said he could see the Mets spending as much as they did under former general manager Omar Minaya. That would presumably mean a budget of more than $140MM for the Metropolitans. Here's more out of Queens..
- If Johan Santana has the strong, healthy season that he is expecting, then he could trigger his option year and, in turn, hurt his mid-season trade value, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. The hurler's six-year, $137.5MM deal expires this season, but the contract has a 2014 player option that vests for $25MM if Santana pitches 215 innings in 2013 and is on the active roster for the final 30 days of the season.
- Triple-A manager Wally Backman still wants to be a big league manager and he could be waiting in the wings as Terry Collins faces an uncertain future, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post writes. For his part, Backman says that he's not gunning for Collins' job.
- Blue Jays import Travis d'Arnaud draws high praise from his former coaches, writes Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. Phillies catching coordinator Mike Compton even went so far as to reference Johnny Bench.