What the 2013 Mets might look like with $150 million payroll

I’ve wondered aloud, “What would it be like if the Mets resolved their financial issues by the end of the 2012 season?”  What if the Wilpons or a new ownership group were to set a payroll level of $150,000,000.00 and tell Sandy Alderson to build the team he wants to build.  Well… there certainly are one or two options available.  Let us view the team moving into 2013:

C: Josh Thole (Arb)

1B: Ike Davis (Arb)

2B: Daniel Murphy (Arb)

3B David Wright $16 M ($1 M Buyout)

SS Ruben Tejada (Arb)

LF: Jason Bay $ 16 M


RF: Lucas Duda (Arb)

SP1: Johan Santana $25.5 M

SP2: Jon Niese (Arb)

SP3: Dillon Gee (Arb)



CL: Frank Francisco $6.5 M

SU: Bobby Parnell (Arb)



So there are a few openings and a few players the Mets could consider upgrading.  My math makes that team out to be worth under $90 M thanks to several large contracts.  So… what would the plan be for 2013?  The first step would be to pay for the face of the franchise… giving David Wright an extension and adding $4 M annually to the payroll.  Sign a starting catcher (Miguel Montero or Russell Martin make sense) and add another $7 M.  Is Daniel Murphy working?  Is Havens able to play?  If not… perhaps we’ll look at a $15 M Brandon Philips but I’ll hope we don’t need to.  More likely, Ruben Tejada cannot cut it offensively at SS so the Mets could look at Stephen Drew for around $10 M that I doubt the Diamondbacks would be willing to pay.  Center field could be patrolled by Matt Den Dekker or Kirk Nieuwenhuis though Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, B.J. Upton and Shane Victorino could make sense.  When you reach pitching you wonder how many of Generation 2-K’s group would be ready for the rotation.  I would estimate low and safely and say that 1 is ready for the rotation, 1 is now a reliever and 2 are still in the minors.  That leaves the Mets up to two spots to fill with free agent starters, and the list is pretty good:  Cole Hamels, Zach Greinke, Matt Cain, Anibal Sanchez, Scott Baker, Francisco Liriano, Shaun Marcum, Jake Peavy, Jonathan Sanchez and Edwin Jackson could all be available.  I’ll go ahead and dedicate $36 M to two pitchers from that group who I’d sign for contracts between 3-4 years depending.


  • Re-Sign Wright $20 M per ($4 M Net Gain)
  • Sign Miguel Montero $7 M (2 Years)
  • Sign Stephen Drew $10 M
  • Sign Cole Hamels $20 M
  • Sign Matt Cain $16 M

C: Miguel Montero $7M

1B: Ike Davis (Arb)

2B: Reese Havens

3B: David Wright $20 M

SS: Stephen Drew $10 M

LF: Jason Bay $ 16 M

CF: Matt Den Dekker (OR Kirk Nieuwenhuis)

RF: Lucas Duda (Arb)

SP1: Cole Hamels $20 M

SP2: Matt Cain $16 M

SP3: Johan Santana $25.5 M

SP4: Matt Harvey

SP5: Jon Niese (Arb)

CL: Frank Francisco $6.5 M

SU: Jeurys Familia

SU: Bobby Parnell (Arb)

My plan would take the Met payroll from $90 M to $147 M in pretty short order but it would also make the Mets look pretty solid in the NL East.  We’ll also note that the Mets clear $33 M in 2014 with the loss of Johan Santana and Jason Bay to use on a free agent list including:  Joey Votto, Asdrubal Cabrera, Alex Gordon, Michael Morse, Jacoby Ellsbury, Adam Jones, Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz, Hunter Pence, Josh Johnson and Tim Lincecum.

4 comments for “What the 2013 Mets might look like with $150 million payroll

  1. March 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

    From you lips to God’s ears, David…

  2. Joe Gomez
    March 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Not happening.
    Wright not worth 20M.
    Hamels would never play here nor do we want him.
    Cain I like, catcher needs upgrading as well as CF. Caution must be taken to not try to do all in one year but to find the right pieces.

    The best thing for the Mets is to take this year to determine who is part of the future and who needs to be replaced. Matt Cain would be a great addition to the rotation and that should be it because you probably have Harvey coming into the rotation as well.

    Santana, Cain, Niese, Harvey is a great start. You can use one from Dickey, Familia, Gee, Pelfrey (if he is still here), etc.

    2014 rotation may be Santana, Cain, Niese, Harvey, Wheeler.

    • David Groveman
      March 12, 2012 at 9:19 am

      In regards to your rotation, sure… that would be great… assuming Santana is healthy.

      Regarding Wright, I put $20M more as a place holder. Nobody would give him that unless he turns back the clock with a .330 / 100 / 32 / 112 / 20 line. I put down $20M because the Mets need an offensive face to the franchise and need to invest money into him. That money will be between $15M and $20M I estimated high for the sake of the exercise.

  3. J
    February 18, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    It’s fun reading this a year later. At the time, we would never have thought to pick up Dickey’s option. We had huge question marks for Tejada and Murphy, who are both fairly well entrenched now, and some of those free agents mentioned took a nose dive because they got hurt or their production tailed.

    All things considered you were close on Bourn, got Marcum (even though we don’t have a $150 mil payroll now) and hit the Generation 2-K right about on the head. As far as predictions go, that’s not bad at all.

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