With pitchers and catchers set to report to spring training in a little under one month, the New York Mets boast a projected Opening Day payroll that is roughly in line with where it was the past two seasons. Following Friday’s arbitration deadline, there is additional clarity on that number after the team settled on one-year contracts with Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz, and Michael Conforto while signing Jed Lowrie earlier in the week to a two-year deal.
All told, the Mets’ payroll is at $153,381,667 according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, when subtracting the $6 million that will be deferred off of David Wright’s contract. This number factors in the remainder of the $9 million the club will pay him in 2019 and all of Yoenis Cespedes’s salary. That figure also accounts for an estimated $6,325,000 that will go towards fielding 11 players who are under club control. The team entered 2017 with a payroll of $154,437,460, while the 2018 Opening Day payroll came in at a slightly more modest $150,558,844, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.
Mets 2019 Payroll
|Club Control (11)||$6,325,000|
It’s unclear how much Brodie Van Wagenen has left to spend, but a realistic ceiling of $160 million would suggest that there isn’t a ton of wiggle room left. Given the current roster make-up, the infield is almost certainly set, and it doesn’t appear as if the Mets are in on the remaining big-name free agent outfielders like Bryce Harper and A.J. Pollock. Any further spending will likely be directed towards improving their pitching depth, and they should still look to add an arm or two to their bullpen in an effort to continue turning one of their greatest weaknesses last season into an asset next year.
Despite the payroll restriction, Van Wagenen has done an admirable job of addressing the team’s weaknesses and improving the roster while working within those constraints. While it doesn’t appear as if there is a lot left to spend with a payroll of $153 million, it’s impossible to rule out the first-year general manager getting creative and making some final moves to help the team.