Any chance that might’ve existed for a reunion between Daniel Murphy and the Mets evaporated with the news of Murphy’s three-year agreement with the Nationals. Murphy going to an NL East rival probably stings the Mets, though the club had never expressed too much interest in re-signing the infielder and had already moved on by trading for Neil Walker and signing Asdrubal Cabrera to address middle infield needs. Because Murphy rejected the Mets’ $15.8MM qualifying offer (an offer that was no certainty to be extended prior to Murphy’s huge postseason), New York now receives a compensatory draft pick between the first and second rounds of next June’s amateur draft. Here’s some more from Queens…
- The Mets’ 2016 payroll stands at roughly $106.5MM, according to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin. This total includes projected arbitration salaries, estimated $600K salaries for pre-arb players and another $600K for the right-handed hitting outfielder Rubin feels the team will add before Opening Day. While $106.5MM is low by the standards of a big-market club (especially one in New York), it’s actually slated to be the Mets’ highest Opening Day payroll in five years, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.
- In a follow-up tweet, Rubin feels the payroll could be in the neighborhood of $112MM depending on the backup outfielder and if the Mets acquire a setup man.
- While the Mets continue to be criticized for their modest spending, Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders if the critics would’ve disappeared had the team been successful in landing Ben Zobrist, who the Mets made a huge push to sign before he opted to join the Cubs. That said, Sherman wonders if the Mets front office has by this point simply “just learned not to even go to certain areas” in terms of player contracts since it knows that ownership doesn’t have the funds. Sherman believes, for instance, that Darren O’Day would’ve been an ideal target and could’ve been a huge upgrade for the Mets’ bullpen, yet the club refused to spend at the top of the relief market.
- In other Mets news from earlier today on MLBTR, the club has ruled out a pursuit of Yoenis Cespedes. According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Mets made Cespedes an offer of two or three years, though no salary figures were discussed.