While the Mets look to have primed themselves for a potential run next year, the organization’s expectation is that payroll will remain in the low-to-mid-$80MM range, reports ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (Insider link). A major portion of that (just over $54MM) is already promised to veterans David Wright, Curtis Granderson, Bartolo Colon, and Jon Niese. And several players — including Daniel Murphy, Bobby Parnell, Dillon Gee, and Lucas Duda — will be in line for sizeable salaries through arbitration. GM Sandy Alderson said recently that the team will “have some flexibility,” Olney says it seems likely that the front office will need to look for buy-low options to fill its various areas of need.
Here’s more from New York:
- The Mets face a fairly significant upcoming roster crunch, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Players like Wilmer Flores, Jenrry Mejia, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Andrew Brown, and Cesar Puello will be out of options for the first time. And the 40-man will remain full heading into the fall since the team has only two free agents (Daisuke Matsuzaka and Bobby Abreu) and needs to accomodate returns from the 60-day DL (Matt Harvey and Bobby Parnell). Creating roster space for new additions and Rule 5 protection will require some tough, early choices for New York.
- With no indication from the Mets that a large payroll expansion is coming, the club may hope for a production boost from a combination of internal improvements and shortened fences, writes Newsday’s Marc Carig. Though bringing in the fences again would obviously impact opponents as well — and has been in the works for some time — Carig notes that there could be some home-team benefits. In particular, reeling in a spacious right-centerfield might result in some additional home runs, given that several of the club’s best hitters thrive hitting to that alley. And if the team’s own rotation can reach its potential, the corresponding benefit to the opposition may not match the Mets’ own yield. For his part, Alderson emphasizes that the changes to dimension are designed solely to enhance the fan experience at Citi Field.
- As it looks to transition back into contention, the club is facing a potentially difficult and embarrassing legal situation, as Selim Algar of the New York Post reports. Former head of marketing and ticket sales Leigh Castergine — the organization’s first-ever female senior vice president, per the report — has sued the club and COO Jeff Wilpon (son of owner Fred Wilpon) for allegedly firing her based on moral opposition to her becoming pregnant without being married. The suit apparently includes numerous specific details that, if proven, could conceivably have important implications for the team’s front office structure.