Yoenis Cespedes is coming back to town, so what does the New York Mets payroll look like for 2016 and beyond?
By Patrick Brewer
While the big news coming out of Friday for the Mets fandom was the re-signing of Yoenis Cespedes to a three year contract worth $75 million, several other smaller moves also occurred. The Mets avoided arbitration with both 1B Lucas Duda, who will be getting $6.725 million for next season, and reliever Jenrry Mejia, who will be taking a pay cut at $2.47 million after missing much of the 2015 season following successive PED suspensions.
With these three signings/arbitration payouts, the Mets are nearly finished with their offseason spending. Taking into consideration the new contract of Cespedes, and the arbitration salaries of the other two players, the Mets payroll now sits at about $140 million for the upcoming season. After four years of having a payroll at or below $100 million, that would be the highest Mets opening day payroll since 2011, which was $142 million.
When Sandy Alderson took over, he had a $140m payroll and a bad #Mets team. Now it’s $140m with a good team. It’s all about how you spend.
— Michael Baron (@michaelgbaron) January 23, 2016
Despite being called all sorts of names this offseason, cheap being the most frequently used, the Mets front office and ownership has certainly done a fair bit of spending to this point in the offseason. While the biggest move was the re-signing of Cespedes, the additions of Neil Walker, Alejandro De Aza, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Antonio Bastardo not only added payroll, but also plenty of depth throughout the roster.
Looking beyond 2016, the Mets look to be in a pretty good long term position. David Wright is really the only remaining large, long term contract on the Mets payroll following this season. Wright is set to make $20 million in each of the next three seasons, $15 million in 2019, and $12 million in 2020 before becoming a free agent.
Past David Wright, most of the Mets contracts are off the books after next season or the year after. Curtis Granderson is set to make $16 million this season and $15 million next before becoming a free agent. Asdrubal Cabrera will make just over $8 million the next two seasons, with an option for a third. Finally, Juan Lagares is under contract through at least 2019, with an option for one more year, totaling just over $22 million.
Pretty much every other player for the Mets is either still in arbitration, or is a free agent after this next season. Either way, the Mets look to be in a pretty good spot going forward into not only next season, but for several years to come. Financially, this is important given the need to eventually re-sign the likes of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, although all three still have plenty of years left of team control.
With Cespedes now in tow, the Mets can focus on not only competing for 2016, but also start looking toward the future, and perhaps signing some of their young pitchers long term. Even with the large sum being paid to Cespedes, as well as a few other new contracts this offseason, the Mets could not be in a better financial position, even with a $140+ million payroll for next year.
Mets fans have been clamoring for a higher payroll, and they finally have their wish.