Acquiring Yoenis Cespedes, Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe, Tyler Clippard, and Addison Reed expanded the club's $103 million on the books to open 2015. All five of those players are free agents, but Alderson expressed optimism about the flexibility afforded him in the summer carrying over to the offseason.
"We ended up higher than the $103 [million] because of the additions we made at the [trade] deadline," Alderson said. "So my hope is we'll start with a somewhat higher payroll—I don't know exactly what that will be -- than we started [at] last year. And we'll have room at the deadline to make acquisitions, as we did this year."
Using MLB Trade Rumors' arbitration projections, they Mets will have $92-93 million tied up before free agency. Without a modest increase in spending, they'll have difficulty making any noteworthy moves over the winter. While 2015 represented their highest Opening Day payroll since 2011, their resources have nevertheless dwindled significantly over the years.
They have several young building block under team control, but they'll face issues in center field and the middle infield if Cespedes and Daniel Murphy sign elsewhere. Boosting the bullpen with cost-effective signings should also be a priority.