With the trade of Jon Niese for Neil Walker and the signing of Asdrubal Cabrera yesterday, the Mets acquired a couple of starting players for their 2016 roster. Walker is set for his fourth and final year of arbitration and is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn about $10.7 million next year. Cabrera signed a two-year deal for $18.5 million that also includes a team option for a third year. Let’s take a look at where the team’s payroll stands following the moves.
At the beginning of the offseason, the Mets had approximately $94 million in payroll commitments for the 2016 season, assuming they retained all of the players they could at the time. A few were not retained, though: Buddy Carlyle, Anthony Recker, Eric Young Jr., and Jack Leathersich. None of them would have made all that much, but that lowered the Mets’ commitment to about $91 million.
Depending on what his exact salary his, Neil Walker should be close to a wash with Niese, who will earn $9 million in 2016. Niese’s contract has team options for the following two seasons, each with a small buyout. If Walker gets the $10.7 million salary as projected, that would bring the Mets up to $92.7 million in commitments. Throw in Cabrera’s salary at $9.25 million, and the Mets would have about $102 million committed to their payroll for next season.
It doesn’t sound like the Mets are done making moves. Whether or not they’re able to make a major signing depends largely on what the team’s salary budget is for next season.