Things have grown quiet on the New York Mets’ offseason front. But fans should hold back from getting too restless.The MLB Hot Stove has of course slowed after a flurry of moves that followed the Winter Meetings last month. In fact, the only significant move that New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson was able to make was the re-signing of slugger Yoenis Cespedes.
Cespedes was signed for four years, $110 million — an average of $27 million a year. According to Spotrac.com, the Mets’ 2017 payroll currently sits at $103 million, making it the 13th highest in the league.
In comparison, rival clubs like the Washington Nationals are at $120 million, the World Series champion Chicago Cubs are spending $132 million and the Los Angeles Dodgers rank first in payroll at a whopping $200 million.
Mets fans may see those numbers and go out of their Metropolitan-loving minds. In a city where baseball is king, the franchise they pledge loyalty to is a middle-of-the-pack team based on payroll. As usual, their cross-city neighbor, the New York Yankees, have a payroll that dwarfs the Mets’ payroll by over $70 million.
It’s no secret that the Wilpons are still feeling the effects of the Madoff Ponzi scheme, in which they are forced to pay back gains to victims. Alderson has worked with this restriction since taking over the team in October 2010. There was certainly a rough stretch over the first few years of his tenure, including consecutive losing seasons and the departures of beloved players like Jose Reyes.
The last two seasons have validated the Wilpons’ belief in Alderson, though, as the Mets have enjoyed back-to-back postseason appearances and possessed a bevy of young talent showcased during each season.
So Mets fans, “R-E-L-A-X” — here is why you should feel confident going into the 2017 campaign.