De Aza That Broke the Mets Fans’ Backs
Personally, I don’t have a problem with Alejandro De Aza as the Mets fourth outfielder and/or a platoon option for Juan Lagares. I didn’t trust Denard Span‘s ability to return to form. I never thought Gerardo Parra would come to the Mets to accept a reduced role. In a vacuum, I thought the move made sense.
Apparently, I was the only one, and you know what? I completely understand. For many Mets fans the De Aza signing was a signal that the Mets weren’t spending money. It meant the Mets weren’t going to bring in Span, who was a popular free agent target amongst fans. It meant the Mets weren’t going to bring back fan favorite Yoenis Cespedes. It meant the Mets were going to pocket all that playoff money.
It showed the Mets were not going to keep their promise that payroll would increase if attendance increased. Well attendance and revenues increased, so what happened:
By my count, the Mets currently have about $62MM committed in 2016 salaries, plus around $38MM in arbitration. So about $100MM right now.
— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) December 22, 2015
#Mets payroll alert: $107m. I'll leave now.
— Michael Baron (@michaelgbaron) December 22, 2015
This means the Mets payroll is at or near the 2015 Opening Day payroll. That’s less than the Mets payroll at the end of the 2015 season. In essence, attendance increased and PAYROLL DECREASED!
It’s unacceptable, especially when you consider the Mets needed to improve a team that lost the World Series. They’re now worse than that team. It’s not right, and frankly it’s unfair to the fans.
One thing that’s funny is I had some on ask me why I wasn’t more upset about the De Aza signing. It’s simple. The Mets already signaled they weren’t going to spend this offseason with the Neil Walker trade. It was a cheap move that saved a couple of million.
Yes, Walker’s and Jon Niese‘s 2016 salaries are effectively a wash. However, the Mets needed to add Bartolo Colon to take Niese’s spot in the rotation for $7.25 million. The Mets might’ve been able to sign Daniel Murphy for an average annual value of $12 million. That’s a $4.75 million difference. By saving that money, the Mets lost a trade chip in Niese, which is important since the Mets have lost a lot of pitching over the past year. They also let everyone know they’re saving money. It’s just now confirmed the cost savings were for the Wilpons and not for a big payroll acquisition.
Overall, the Walker trade signaled this was coming. I was angry when that trade happened. I’m not going to get angry again over the same issue. I’m not going to get angry over a signing that makes some sense. Don’t get me wrong. Like you, I’m angry.
It’s just that I’ve been angry much longer than you have.