Mets May Set Record
If things go as planned, the Mets could set a new Major League record on Opening Day: the biggest one-year drop in payroll.
Hat tip to MetsToday visitor “Harry”, who pointed out to me a recent blog post by Adam Rubin on ESPN-NY, detailing the Mets’ plan to cut more than $50M in salary from last year. From the post:
After general manager Sandy Alderson revealed the organization lost $70 million last year, the Mets appear poised to have the biggest one-year payroll drop in MLB history — roughly $52 million. That would surpass the former record: $48.4 million by the Texas Rangers from 2003 to 2004, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
The Marlins from 2005 to 2006 had the biggest reduction by percentage, trimming nearly 75 percent of their payroll, but the total was $45.4 million.
The Mets’ payroll, which stood at roughly $143 million last season, is expected to swoon to less than $91 million this Opening Day.
So there you go — at least we can look forward to the Mets doing something newsworthy this year.
(i’m sorry i couldn’t resist)
Second, yeah, it’s possible for a MLB team to succeed on a $90M budget through player development, scouting, etc.
However, it’s not possible for the Mets to succeed on a $90M budget (or less) in 2012 as they do not have any of these things you mention.
Further, lowering MLB payroll has ZERO effect on drafting and player development. Spending on both happens all the time, see the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Rangers, and Angels, for example.
We are also assuming that the Mets will be at $90 million when the season ends. I believe the Mets will trade Santana and Bay as soon as they can and they pick the trade that saves them money over the one that brings them in more prospects (think KRod). And most assume Wright is gone this year, too. That would drop the Met’s payroll to under $33 million. How many teams win with a payroll that low? While they are spending $90 million now, they also have one of lowest median payrolls in the league at just $900,000. Santana, Bay, and Wright alone account for two thirds of the payroll. With three trades that most asssume the Mets want to make, we are talking one of the lowest payrolls in baseball.
It could also be argued that signing Prince Fielder to a deal similar to what the Tigers gave him is spending “wisely”, given that he’s arguably one of the top 5 sluggers in MLB (if not top 3) and his deal is a little below market value when compared to what Albert Pujols received.
In other words, “spending wisely” is not always equal to “spending less”.
Spending wisely and spending less are not one in the same but in the Mets case it is. Even if they signed Reyes, Pujols and Wilson, they would not be a contender. Besides, the Mets need to have a blueprint for SUSTAINABLE success. Once again, Minaya took a last place team and got it to the playoffs by signing FA’a and trading away the farm. It worked for a three years, yielded one playoff series win and then fell apart. Mets should be like the Braves, sustainable success.
You need to take your head out of the sand and stop whining about what you want things to be and see them for what they are. The Mets have a finite amount of money. They can’t at this moment buy big time FA’s and develop the farm simultaneously . They have cut payroll, and a farm team, and laid off staff. For this team spending on A means spending less on B. That is the reality. They have chosen to spend on B; the farm.
As for David Wright his value is up in the air. Is he the Wright of 2006-2008, the Wright of 2010, or the Wright of 2011. I don’t know. the Mets have an option on him and are waiting to see what his value is, extending him versus trading him. Could it be argued they should sign him now? Sure. but it could be argued that it is prudent to wait and see.
The Mets are not spending money on ANYTHING right now — not the 25-man roster, not on the draft, not on development, not on scouting, NOTHING. To accept the spin that the Mets are cutting costs in every single aspect of their franchise as part of some grandiose rebuilding plan based on drafting and player development is just as “head in the sand” as believing the team needs to jack up the payroll, if not more.
The Wilpons are broke and have no business owning a MLB team in KC, much less NY, right now. The only “plan” in place is to cut as many costs as possible so they can remain sports moguls and avoid bankruptcy.
The reality is this: Even if the Wilpons have to sell that’s going to take a while. Also, there’s no guarantee the next owner will be better. Remember, Frank McCourt at one point was welcomed because he was thought to be an improvement over Fox. This is the situation the Mets are in. Deal with it. You can either bitch like a baby every day or accept it and try to think of ways to get out of the hole.
Clearly you have a very different perspective than the Wilpons. No, it’s NOT obvious that their plan is to hang on because they want to win with the Mets.
The Wilpons like the idea of being MLB owners. It makes them feel important. It gives them a certain stature in society. Owning a MLB team in NYC also offers great potential for profit, even if you don’t go all out to win — all you have to do is hope for “meaningful games in September”. Additionally, if they lose the team, it’s an embarrassment — no one enjoys feeling embarrassed.
I don’t understand where you get the idea that the Wilpons want to keep the team to win, especially if you have watched their actions ever since they took over full ownership from Doubleday. Winning was never the ultimate goal — it was a secondary goal to making money and feeling like big shots.
The best we can hope for is getting rid of bad contracts and not spending for more. But, people here don’t do that. They sneer at them for not spending money. Like why in the heck would one WANT that? We can’t trust them with money. That’s apparent.
Meanwhile, it is not like “nothing” is being done. Zack Wheeler and others are out there. Duda, Davis, Niese, et. al. ARE out there showing some hope. They didn’t just trust Bobby Parnell to be their closer in ’12, which if they spent “no” money would be the case. They just didn’t rest with the bullpen they had in ’11. They didn’t just give Beltran away for nothing.
Did enough happen? No. But, we need someone around here to suggest there is at least some water in the glass. You and others can then note how little there is.
Yes, the Mets are cutting costs because of financial distress. It is because of this distress they must spend more wisely. Fielder or Pujols would not have been wise. Reyes, I can see both sides. He is a great player but a constant health risk.
The Mets farm system is a work in progress like the team is. They are recovering from trading away so many people and also losing draft picks for signing FA’s. It takes time to build it up. A time ago the Mets farm was bottom of the barrel. now it;s middle of the pack and rising.
You need to accept the Mets cannot buy their way out of the abyss. they must think their way out.
Am I happy about this? I am sick to my stomach. I want the Mets to be great every year. But they are trading away players with big contracts. When that is done, they will start trading away players with mediocre contracts (thanks fo the memories R.A.!). Then they will be trading away players eligible for arbitration (you might not want to plan on building a new house in the area, Ike).
I will be the first one to call myself an idiot if the Mets start spending money again, wisely or not. But I wouldn’t be surprise if we don’t see it happening for five years or until the Wilpons are gone.
They got Zack Wheeler back for Beltran. For a few months of K-Rod, they got back something. Yes, they let go Reyes. Next might be Bay. Not sure what that 17M is getting the team now. Wright? As Glenn said, a question mark.
Santana? Like the 12M they spent for a closer, they aren’t just going to let him go & do nothing. Ditto Bay probably. They will get back SOMETHING since a team in NYC has some value, including if they go bankrupt, but not with a 33M payroll.
They spent a lot of money and lost for a few years now. Makes sense for them to spend less and stop bleeding. As to five years, yeah, it took a few years after 2000 to get another playoff berth. The second WC will help.
As far as the finances of the Wilpons, they owe at least $385 million to the government aka Madoff. The government is appealing right now to raise that number back up to near $1 billion. The Mets also owe JPMorgan Chase $430 million which is due June 2, 2014 (which doesn’t include the $30 million interest payments due every year until then). They also need to come up with $450 million by June 4, 2015 to pay off the SNY loan. If they sell their shares in SNY, that money would have to be used to pay off this loan and could not be reinvested in the Mets. That loan drains the Wilpons $20 million per year for the interest. They also owe Bank of America $40 million and MLB $25 million. I am sure all of these loans will be refinanced, but they still have to pay the interest payments.
Standards & Poors just downgraded the Mets financial rating. They also projected a 10% drop in attendance for 2012. The Wilpons have publicly projected a 10% rise in attendance. If S&P is correct, the Wilpons will have to adjust their budget midseason.
There you have it. You now know more about the Met’s money problems.
The numbers you provide suggest the team is a drop in the bucket in regard to their debts. So, if they dispose of it by consent or by pressure, it can be an also ran. We simply don’t know what will happen there.
From Part 2 of Adam Rubin’s article:
Given all the looming obligations, can the Wilpons survive? One major key, as Fred Wilpon noted, will be revenue generated by attendance, since plentiful financial reserves do not exist. Another component of the recovery plan is payroll austerity, which hurts fans desiring the most competitive team. The Mets’ Opening Day payroll is projected to be less than $91 million — a historic $52 million drop from last season.
“I think the thing that would be a disappointment to baseball fans is that if he holds on, he has to sort of play this game of reducing payroll and not putting a particularly competitive team on the field,” said Dr. Joel Maxcy, an associate professor and member of Temple University’s Sport Industry Research Center. “That’s a downward spiral, too. If the team isn’t competitive, the revenues that are used to service the debt are dropping as well. So what would seem like a better situation is that they sell the team to another investor, as has happened with Texas and the Dodgers. But it seems like he is pretty adamant about trying to hang on.”
So they’re not retooling, folks. They don’t have the money to retool. They’re not spending the money to retool. They’re not spending money because they don’t have any money (or at least any extra money). They’re simply being miserly to keep the money that they have in their own pockets. And “miserly” is probably a bad word, because it implies that they have money and don’t spend it. They don’t have any money…
So we need to stop going to games, stop funding their desperation, stop fueling their futile efforts to hold on. If we keep acting like we’re okay with what they’re doing, they’re going to keep doing what they’re doing and it’s gonna be a long decade of misery for us fans.
What do you think, Joe?
If the Wilpons had the money, then we wouldn’t be talking about dumping David Wright or letting Jose Reyes go. Because in a world where the Wilpons had money, they would have been able to rebuild the team around those players, not dump them to save money. Dumping them isn’t a baseball decision…it’s a “we can’t afford anything” decision made by relative paupers in a baseball economy populated by billionaires.
Go post, 100% accurate. Wright will only be “dumped” if he returns to performing at a high level. If he does, why wouldn’t they want to keep him? We can debate whether the Reyes deal will pan out in the long run, and his health history is not great, but he is a top caliber player in the prime of his career. Yes, the pitching has been light compared to Philly and Atlanta, and the injuries have wrecked at least 2 of the last 4 seasons, but let’s make no mistake, this stripping of the payroll has nothing to do about baseball and everything to do about cash flow. And they haven’t yet had to write a check for the Madoff settlement. Like it or not, owning a MLB team is for billionaires, not multi-millionnaires.
Carlos Beltran was reletively good. But then we can go from Vince Coleman to Ollie. Note: I can say the same about Bay. I cant say santana is bad either as he singlehandedly came us in races. only for Wilpon to blow the game late. Injuries happen. and if Santana comes back HE would be worth rebuilding around.