The Mets were never seriously linked to Aaron Nola so it’s no big deal that he’s re-signed with the Phillies. But the Nola signing means that we can now seriously expect the big free agents to ink contracts at any time. And we still don’t know what to expect the Mets to do this offseason. Are they players for each and every free agent out there? Will they look to make one major addition and then fill in on the margins? Will they look to get under the final tax level, a task made slightly easier now that Adam Ottavino turned down his option?

My opinion is that it doesn’t make sense for the Mets to carry a payroll in the neighborhood of $310 million. That puts them over the final tax threshold but likely with a team not good enough to be a slam dunk for the playoffs. If you’re willing to exceed the last threshold, why not spend a little more and make the necessary upgrades to field a playoff team, rather than one hoping for meaningful games in September?

But it’s easy for me to be cavalier with Steve Cohen’s money. He didn’t get to be a billionaire by lighting millions of dollars on fire. That extra $20 million to elevate a $310 million payroll to $330 million is roughly $40 million with the tax penalties included. And people will say – so what, Cohen can afford it! Well, we saw him draw the line on unlimited spending when he didn’t sign Carlos Correa. And we saw him look to recoup some money when he sold the old pitchers at the trade deadline. Clearly, money matters. Cohen is a smart businessman after all.

We’ve seen Cohen change his mind on spending, so it’s hard to predict what he might do this year. And with David Stearns at the helm, one who made his bones operating on a smaller budget but who presumably came to New York to have more money at his disposal, that doesn’t add a lot of clarity to the issue, either.

We’ll find out over the next three months or so. But we’re the instant coffee generation and we want to know now. So what’s your view on what the Opening Day payroll will be for this upcoming season?

How much will the Mets' 2024 Opening Day payroll be?

  • Between $297-$330 million (44%, 8 Votes)
  • Under $297 million, the final tax threshold (33%, 6 Votes)
  • Above $330 million, which was last year's number (22%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 18

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5 comments on “Poll: What will the Mets’ 2024 Opening Day payroll be?

  • Metsense

    Spotrac has them at $237m before arbitration. MLBTR estimates four players at $28m. So the total is $265m estimated payroll. To stay under the tax threshold they would have to spend $32m or less.
    At the minimum that the Mets need is two starting pitchers and three relief pitchers to be competitive in September. That shopping list is more than $32m.
    Yamamoto ($225 m/9), Severino ($14m/1), 3 relief pitchers ($24m) = $63m (based on rumors)
    That leaves a projected payroll of $328m and they may have meaningful games in September.
    I don’t think that Cohen bought the Mets for the chance of having meaningful games in September. He wants more. That is why I chose above $330m.

  • Brian Joura

    When you make a poll, if one answer is picked 80% of the time – it wasn’t a very good topic for a poll. In early voting, all three responses have the same number of votes. We’ll see if that trend holds as more people weigh in.

  • T.J.

    I voted under $297 million, only because it doesn’t seem rational to me to spend a ton of money, in a transition season where they have virtually no chance to be as good as the Braves or Phillies on paper, simply to remain relevant in the wild card hunt. That said, I have absolutely no conviction to that vote, and truly think that any outcome is just as likely. That does make for a very interesting hot stove.

  • Nym6986

    I chose $297-$330 because it was the safest choice. They should spend half of what they paid Scherzer/Verlander so that puts them closer to $300 then $330. I like the idea of spending enough so that we compete in 2024 and it’s not our money. I do want them to start spending some now!

  • ChrisF

    I picked the middle, but with low conviction. I guess my personal feeling is this is not a thing Cohen is even considering as a primary screen for annual payroll. They fact is he may need to spend money in ‘24 for ‘25. Everything costs more now-much more. My guess is that he’s waited to hire stearns for years now to make this club better, and in that context will bend to the rationale stearns presents for bettering the club. To me the interesting question is how much does Cohen and Stearns believe in Baty Mauricio and vientos beciase that has a lot of impact on what the budget will be.

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