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Mets Will Have At Least $64 Million To Spend In Free Agency

As a second straight Mets season has completely fallen apart, there has been discussions about whether the Mets should blow the whole thing up. Those discussions have been ramped up with Yoenis Cespedes being out for at least 10 months with his having double heel surgery.

What’s odd about that is the Mets arguably have the best starting rotation in baseball with the top 1-2 combination with Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.

Brandon Nimmo has played like an All Star caliber player, and lately Michael Conforto has returned to his All Star form.

The Mets have two potent weapons with Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo.

There’s also good talent close to the majors with Peter Alonso, Justin Dunn, and Andres Gimenez. Of course, Jeff McNeil was just called-up.

There’s talent present which could make the Mets winners in 2020 or even 2019. However, for that to happen, the Mets will need to add some pieces.

Fortunately for the Mets, this could go down as one of the most consequential free agent classes in Major League history. Teams will be lining up to throw money to Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Craig Kimbrel, Clayton Kershaw, and A.J. Pollock.

Given all that has happened, the Mets will have the money to be competitors on the free agent market.  In fact, they are going to be quite flush with cash.

Expiring Contracts

Even if the Mets do not trade anyone who is due money past this season, the Mets will have money freed up because there are a number of contracts expiring after this season:

With respect to Mesoraco, there was an undisclosed amount of cash provided by the Reds when they obtained Harvey in exchange for Mesoraco.  While Mesoraco is due $13.12 million this year, it was Harvey’s $5.625 million salary that was part of the Opening Day roster.  Therefore, for the sake of calcualting how much money will be available, Harvey’s salary is used as the placeholder.

With the Harvey/Mesoraco caveat, the Mets will have $32.1 million coming off the books just from contracts currently on the books expiring after the season.

Subtotal $32.1 million

Familia Trade

With the Mets trading Jeurys Familia, the team not only was able to acquire two prospects in Bobby Wahl and William Toffey, both of whom will be earning de minimis minor league salaries, but the team was also able to remove Familia’s $7.925 million from the books with the team getting some cash savings this season with the Athletics taking on the remainder of Familia’s 2018 salary.

Subtotal $40.025

Insurance Money

David Wright has not played a Major League game since May 27, 2016.  With each passing day and each additional set-back, it becomes increasingly unlikely we will ever see Wright play in another game for the Mets.  Now when it comes to Wright, there are two factors at play which would give the team an avenue to spend more money this offseason.

First and foremost, Wright’s salary goes from $20 million in 2018 to $15 million in 2019.  Right off the bat, that gives the Mets an additional $5 million to spend this offseason.

Additionally, Wright’s contract is fully insured with insurance paying 75% of Wright’s salary.  As a result, the Mets will have an additional $11.25 million available to spend due to Wright’s inability to play.

But Wright is not the only injured player insured.  In addition to Wright, Yoenis Cespedes‘ contract is also insured.  That’s important in light of the announcement Cespedes will have double heel surgery and will be out at least 10 months.  For what it’s worth, the Mets suggested he may be out longer than that.

Remember, Cespedes is out from 10 months from whenever he has the surgery.  Not from the date of the press conference.  With that in mind and for the sake of being conservative in the estimates, lets assume Cespedes is out for half the season.

With the Mets saying there is insurance that picks up over 50% of the salary owed to Cespedes, that means, the Mets will be able to recoup roughly 50% of a  half’s seasons salary.  With Cespedes due $29 million next year, insurance will pay at least $7.25 million.  With each passing day that number will grow.

When combining the monies covered by insurance for Wright and Cespedes, the team will have an additional $18.5 million available to spend.  When you include the $5 million drop in Wright’s salary, that number is $23.5 million.

Subtotal $63.525

Other Factors

As noted by Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, ownership says it considers Wright’s contract part of the payroll, and the team does not reinvest the money saved into baseball operations.  Putting aside what that means in terms of money available for a second, what this does mean is the team has saved and socked away $15 million of the $20 million due and owing to Wright this season.

The same likely applies to whatever the team can and will recover from insurance from Cespedes’ $29 million contract this season.

Additionally, the team saw savings of roughly $3 million for trading Familia, and they will likely see the same savings when other players are traded for the roster.  Presumably, since that money is not being invested into baseball operations this season that would make that money available for 2019 and beyond.

For a moment, we can presume for a moment the $3 million saved on Familia can offset the $3 million pay increase due to Jay Bruce next season. Of course, the pay raises due in arbitration and the like will very easily be offset by the money saved on the Wright and Cespedes insurance policies.  Really, there should be money to spare.

What This All Means

Looking at the Mets as currently constituted, they have tw0-third of their outfield set with Conforto and Nimmo.  On the infield, they have Todd Frazier and Amed Rosario.  They will also have Wilmer Flores, T.J. Rivera, and Jeff McNeil, who could become part of a time sharing at either first or second.  If he can get healthy, the team could have Bruce at first or right depending on the development of Alonso, or yes, even Dominic Smith.

All told, this means the Mets have the payroll room and the spots on the roster to add at least one player of significance.  Perhaps even two.

With that in mind, with the Mets having $63.525 million to spend this offseason, there is no excuse why this team shouldn’t aggressively pursue Machado and Harper.  They should come away with one of them plus an additional piece to help take them over the top like a Kimbrel, Pollock, or yes, even a Daniel Murphy (first base only).

If the Mets do that, this is a potential World Series contender, especially with this starting pitching.  If the team goes out and does this, the fans will pack Citi Field to the gills.

The time for excuses is over.  It’s time to act like a big market club with a chance to win a World Series.

 

 

 

11 thoughts on “Mets Will Have At Least $64 Million To Spend In Free Agency”

  1. FIVE TOOL OWNERSHIP says:

    So what is the step by step outline of your plan going into 2019?

    Are there any long term contracts for outside the roster on other teams or inside roster that have to be projected for 2021, 2022 before signing a hopefully an under 27 year old free agent like Manny Machado for a seven plus year contract this fall?

    Have you considered a simple spreadsheet for Met keepers duch as FA to be in 2020 Zach Wheeler, 2021 Jacob de Grom, 2022 Noah Syndergaard….

    and what if Travis is a keeper, Wilmer or if Jeff signs any of the pitchers preagency.

    Can you tell us your thinking there?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      My full thoughts require a longer post. Suffice it to say, if you have add 2-3 big pieces to what’s an already talented team with a great pitching staff, the Mets could win the World Serues

  2. Jeff wilpon says:

    Lol, delusional.

    Bruce, vargas, swarzak, frazier and lagares all make more next year.

    Not to mention big arbitration raises for deGrom, Syndergaard, wheeler, matz, flores and conforto.

    Also, insurance is fighting the cespedes claim since it was a pre existing condition, as he said many times.

    Not to mention they haven’t used what they saved on wright, so why would they now?

    Robert gsellman is a potent weapon? Lmfao.

    That statement tells you what a delusional homer this guy is.

    Why is he potent?

    Is it his 4 and a half ERA or 1.34 whip?

    And lastly, no big time free agent wants to be a party of this mess when they have so many other options.

    The mets will get the free agents no one else wants, just like last year.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      That’s a long winded way to say you have poor reading comprehension

  3. mike hogan says:

    sounds like Jeff wilpon is afraid to do as you suggest.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      If he doesn’t spend, he’s a fraud

  4. Neil Raymond says:

    Wow, where do I start….

    First off, the Mets are not 1 or 2 player away from a World Series. Their bullpen is one of the worst in the Majors and Gsellman is not an elite reliever. Their lineup is a complete mess: Frazier is in decline, Cespedes can’t stay healthy, Nimmo is inconsistent and unproven, Bruce is lucky to be a starter, McNeil/Rosario/Flores are all unproven.

    The rotation is good… when Syndergaard can stay healthy, if Matz and Wheeler can take steps forward.

    No offense but this comes off as a very biased and unresearched article. The Mets need a closer, 3-4 good relievers, a 1B, a proven 2B, a 3B and for players to stay healthy. Neither Machado or Harper is signing with the Mets when they can sign with better more prestigious teams. Do you honestly think that either would pick the Mets over the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs or the Phillies? The Mets would have to significantly overpay just to have a slight chance and if there’s one thing that they don’t do it’s paying market value. Even if they managed to sign one of them, it won’t solve the rest of their issues.

    The Mets need to trade DeGrom and Syndergaard and start a rebuild.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Basically, you’re saying a team cannot compete with the best starting rotation in their league and perhaps all of baseball.

      You’re saying despite everything we’ve ever seen in free agent history, players won’t accept the best financial offer presented just because it’s the Mets.

      Fact is, this is a team with a strong young core and interesting players. Add 2-3 big pieces, which $64 million can easily get you, and you are a contender.

      Choose to believe what you want, but if you don’t think a lineup with Machado, Conforto, and Nimmo with that rotation can’t win, then I’m going to assume you missed 2015 and 2016.

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