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Yankees Announce They’ll Spend While Mets Won’t

With Major League Baseball’s GM Meetings about to begin, teams are discussing their very preliminary plans with the media. That includes not just a wish list but also the resources available to fulfill their needs.

With respect to the Yankees, a year after not going the extra mile to sign Patrick Corbin and Dallas Keuchel, the Yankees are now expected to be going aggressively after Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg.

For the Yankees to sign one or both, they’ll need to go past the luxury tax threshold. On that topic, Brian Cashman said there was no directive to stay under the tax meaning

As for the Mets, well, they were typically evasive, which is typically not a forebearer of good news.

When asked if the Mets had the authorization to exceed the threshold, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said the conversation will only happen if he needs to sign a specific player. Essentially, Van Wageneb said the budget and decisions are on a player-by-player basis before declining to answer any more questions about the payroll.

Keep in mind, that decision needs to have already taken place with Zack Wheeler being a free agent. If the Mets did nothing more than sign him, they’re going to be over the luxury tax. If we take Van Wagenen at face value, he’s telling everyone, they haven’t discussed Wheeler, a player who would justify going over that threshold.

In case you had delusions of grandeur, they were quickly dashed when Van Wagenen cited pitching prospect David Peterson as someone who could potentially pitch for the Mets early on in the 2020 season. You don’t even think to look in his direction if you’re going to re-sign Wheeler.

In addition to Wheeler, we know Anthony Rendon is a player worth exceeding the threshold. On that front, Van Wagenen said the Mets were set with internal options at the position.

Sure, you can more than justify Jeff McNeil there. What you can’t justify is J.D. Davis (-13 DRS in 500.2 career innings) or Jed Lowrie (8 PA). The invocation of Lowrie was made all the more hilarious when you consider this happened in the same impromptu press conference where Van Wagenen said they still haven’t diagnosed Lowrie’s injury.

If the Mets are talking about Double-A pitchers in the rotation and players who physically can’t play as an option for third, you really have to wonder if the Mets have any intention to spend. The more you contemplate it; the more you cannot completely rule out the Mets cutting payroll.

But, that’s where we are. Based on how the Mets have operated post-Madoff, we cannot count on them acting like a New York baseball franchise looking to win a World Series. Rather, we expect them to continue half-measures while failing to address the team’s real deficiencies.

Meanwhile, the very same Mets ownership who got caught up in a Ponzi scheme will grumble and declare the Yankees financial model to be “unsustainable.”

Keep in mind, that model is investing in the team and winning leading to higher attendance and the extra revenues which comes from postseason appearances.

Looking at it deeper, everything the Mets do in operating their team has proven to be an unsustainable model for consistently winning baseball games. You’d think this would cause them to do more than obtain Robinson Cano to emulate the Yankees.

They won’t, and once again, there will likely again be disparate results in 2020.

One thought on “Yankees Announce They’ll Spend While Mets Won’t”

  1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    Luxury tax? Never mind that, the Mets are going to do everything they can to get below their current $177m AAV payroll ($174m if you go by listed 2020 payouts).

    Adding Wheeler would have put them at around $195m, not put them over the threshold, so they’re not doing even that much.

    Given they overperformed a little in 2019 and lost Wheeler, Frazier, Vargas, and various bits and pieces, and only added Stroman, the 2020 Mets project to about 81 wins. Add in their inept novice GM, who doesn’t know enough to bring in the better, inexpensive fringe players whose acquisitions depend more on smarts than money, and the team has little hope of contending.

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