John Harper of the Daily News—who heard last night that the Mets would spend no more than $30 million on the 2014 payroll this offseason—heard from someone with the Mets that the number "isn't a firm limit." His source says the number can be increased "if the right opportunity is there."
Based on salary numbers at Cot's Contracts and arbitration estimates at MLB Trade Rumors, the Mets had approximately $56 million committed to their payroll next year before signing Chris Young for $7.25 million today. Earlier this week, Sandy Alderson suggested the team's 2014 payroll would be higher than $87 million. Even if the team retains all of its arbitration-eligible players—an unlikely scenario if there's any trade interest in Ike Davis or Lucas Duda—a $30 million limit would bring the Mets within a million bucks of the number Alderson mentioned this week.
People aren't going to believe the Mets are able to spend significant money on the free agent market until they do, and it's not hard to see some of the better players on the market—like Shin-Soo Choo—still being too expensive for the Mets.
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