The Mets are set to head into the 2018 season with a payroll reduction of roughly $20MM, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Mets GM Sandy Alderson has roughly $10MM remaining to spend on needs up and down the roster, per Sherman — which is reflective of ownership’s confidence in the team’s ability to make a postseason run. Sherman notes that last winter, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz believed the team to be poised for another postseason run and spent accordingly, but last year’s cavalcade of injuries and underperformance has now curtailed their willingness to spend at such an aggressive level. The Mets could yet find a bargain option or two late in the offseason to continue rounding out the roster, as was the case last February and Jerry Blevins and Fernando Salas were inked to relatively low-cost, one-year deals.
More out of Queens…
- Sherman’s colleague, Mike Puma, writes that Wilpon was “irate” upon learning of the Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton acquisition. Wilpon frequently gets upset when seeing his crosstown rivals make blockbuster acquisitions, suggesting that business model to be unsustainable (despite the Yankees operating at the top of the payroll chain for decades). Additionally, Puma notes that big-name free agents haven’t been a consideration at any point this offseason and also lists Addison Reed (along with Tommy Hunter and Bryan Shaw) among bullpen options that have been deemed too costly.
- Puma also tweets that the Mets are still interested in a reunion with Jay Bruce, though they haven’t made him an offer to this point. Given the payroll constraints portrayed in the above-linked columns from the Post duo, it’d be difficult to imagine the Mets winning any sort of bidding war for Bruce. MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo wrote yesterday that the Mets’ interest in Bruce would be contingent on his asking price dropping from its current point — a four-year guarantee.
- Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports (subscription required and recommended) that one creative means of dealing with their limited resources could be to trade reliever AJ Ramos for a second baseman and then sign another reliever to step into his place. The Record’s Matt Ehalt also hears that the Mets are willing to move Ramos in order to address other needs on the big league roster — second base chief among them. The Mets and Indians “do not have anything brewing” with regard to Jason Kipnis at present, however, and Ehalt also notes that Starlin Castro doesn’t appear to be a target, either (as others have previously reported). Ramos, 31, will be a free agent next year and comes with a projected arbitration salary of $9.2MM, per MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz. In 58 2/3 innings last year, Ramos posted a 3.99 ERA with a hefty 11.1 K/9 rate against a more troublesome 5.2 BB/9 mark.