Mets GM Sandy Alderson said at yesterday’s Yoenis Cespedes press conference that the significant signing illustrates that the team is working without payroll limitations, as MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo writes. Alderson was asked if it’s possible that he can retain his entire rotation for the long haul, and while the GM unsurprisingly didn’t want to commit to anything, he did note that the increased payroll flexibility creates the possibility for some long-term deals. “I don’t want to foreclose any possibility,” said Alderson. “…I think maybe if the Cespedes signing says anything, it’s that there are no possibilities that will be dismissed out of hand strictly for financial reasons.” Alderson said the team will get a better feel for any mutual interest in extensions over the next several weeks as Spring Training looms and eventually kicks off. Of the team’s excellent rotation core, Matt Harvey is the only one that has already reached arbitration eligibility, although as a Scott Boras client, he’s perhaps an unlikely candidate to sign long-term in the first place. Next winter will see Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler reach arbitration. (MLBTR’s Jeff Todd and I discussed extensions — and not just for the Mets’ rotation — at length on today’s MLBTR Podcast, for those interested in the matter.) Perhaps most notable of all of Alderson’s payroll comments, however, is the fact that he said he doesn’t anticipate returning to the club’s previous payroll levels even if Cespedes opts out after this season. New York’s payroll will be in the $140MM vicinity for the 2016 season.
Here’s more from the NL East…
- Every contract the Nationals offered to a free agent this winter contained significant deferrals due to uncertainty over the team’s MASN television dispute, writes Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post. The issue came to light most prominently after the team’s failed pursuit of Cespedes. While the Nats technically offered $110MM over five years, Svrluga spoke to sources on both sides of the negotiation who felt the Mets’ offer was clearly better. As he notes, there’s perhaps no need to look further than the first year of the deal; Cespedes landed a $10MM signing bonus and a $17.5MM salary for the 2016 season — $27.5MM up front, with the possibility to max out at $75MM over three years — but would’ve received just $7MM in 2016 with the Nationals’ offer, which contained a decade’s worth of deferrals. One person that spoke to Svrluga called the team’s $200MM offer to Jason Heyward “the most complicated deferral” that person has ever encountered, noting that it contained 16 years worth of deferred monies. Even the players they’ve managed to sign over the past two years — Max Scherzer and Daniel Murphy — come with notable deferrals. Svrluga points out that Scherzer will be owed $15MM in the first year after his deal ends, and while delaying that payment drives down the value of those funds, Svrluga is correct to note that said line item on the team’s budget could interfere with the Nats’ ability to add some secondary pieces six years down the line.
- The Marlins continue to search for veteran rotation options, but president of baseball operations Michael Hill has very little to work with remaining in the budget that was given to him by owner Jeffrey Loria, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. Jackson notes many of the same names that he and Jon Heyman connected to the Marlins a couple of weeks ago: Kyle Lohse, Tim Lincecum, Alfredo Simon and Cliff Lee (though based on the picture Jackson painted in referencing the tight budget, Lee seems somewhat unlikely).
Steve Phillips working for the Nats now? These deferrals are just silly, offer what you can pay. But don’t come up with absurd contracts and blame MASN law suit. You don’t see the Cubs and a host of other teams openly complaining and coming up with contracts no one wants to sign, just because their current tv deal is unfavorable. No Class Nats.
There isn’t a team in baseball in a similar situation to the Nats either. They’re the only club whose tv rights are controlled by a rival team, and they also had the money they we’re budgeting for taken away from them when an arbitration panel overturned a previous ruling. Unexpectedly losing tens of millions of dollars in yearly revenue would be a detriment to any team. To suggest that the Nats are just some team with a poor TV contract is wildly oversimplifying their situation.
If you want to see a really bad tv deal, look no further than the Braves!!
Now they are stuck in a HORRIBLE monstrosity of a tv deal!!
As far as the deferrals, and the Nats contract offers, only the Natonals TRULY know the reasoning behind their offers. It could have been due to the dispute, or maybe they just wanted to spread put their payroll over the years…Either way, only their Front Office truly knows..
Also, the Nats have to put blame and throw it out there that they tried to seriously pursue some of the top available FA’s, because several of their fans are speculating they didn’t try hard enough and are unhappy with the teams offseason and their lack of luring in top talent.
Moreso, by the TV dispute gaining more attention, the Nationals only gain from that, so I’m sure they are having no qualms throwing that out there, but, I have to say, it truly is a smart and well calculated move by their Front Office and management to continue to keep their dispute in the headlines and to make it widely known what is going on.
Atlanta takes in over 50 million a year on their deal. 8th largest TV market. Washington is the 9th largest and receives less than half of what Atlanta gets, without what seems to be a network willing to negotiate a new deal that was supposed to have been done in 2011.
Deferrals aren’t silly at all, they are a kind of financial mechanism utilized by all businesses and almost all individuals. (Ever take out student loans to pay for your tuition?) Ideally, you’d be using such a mechanism because it makes financial sense, not because your cash flow is being hindered due to a contract dispute.
As for the notion of “complaining,” I’d say they are 1) fighting an ongoing battle with the Orioles, which is more or less what was contemplated when the agreement was struck (b/c the rights fees were to be renegotiated, and somewhat inevitably ended up being disputed); and 2) pushing back somewhat against the uninformed media narrative that has developed recently.
I’m not going to argue that everything you hear from the Nationals’ perspective is correct, or something, but I just don’t understand why people are unwilling to acknowledge some of the realities here.
There’s a reason they are called Nats. Those contract offers are annoying!
Does anyone know of any specific instances where long term deferrals have had an overwhelming positive impact for an organization and not the player? Handcuffing finances down the line hardly seems constructive when any high quality team can win a World Series by getting hot late. Seems counterintuitive to add to tomorrow’s problems today.
I guess all deferrals are good in the sense that teams want to win now and it helps with the current situation. As none of can see the future it is hard to say exactly how bad those types of situations will end up. But I will add that I still laugh at the fact that All these years later, the Mets are still paying Bobby Bonilla and he makes more than a lot of their young players each season
I don’t know about you guys but I’m okay with being paid millions of dollars while I’m at home, being retired.
Okay, Bobby Bonilla
what a lot of people don’t realize, there’s another big reason for the nats deferring money: taxes.
washington d.c. has a 9.9 percent income tax on income over $1 million dollars. for taxing purposes, players get taxed based on where they play (off days are counted as team’s home, i.e. d.c. in this case)
meanwhile, on the deferred cash, players only get taxed on federal only, as opposed to federal, local, and state
so unlike kershaws 30 mill a year deal, max will come out ahead in the long run (i’m pretty sure cali has roughly same state income rate as d.c., but kershaw, to my knowledge, has no deferred money
Out of place Met fan
From a business perspective; deferred compensation is akin to an interest free loan. Player is providing the service in the present, at today’s rates, but not paid until a future designated time.