Last offseason, the New York Mets had little interest in exceeding the luxury tax, but there’s a slight chance that could change this winter.
During this offseason, the New York Mets have a few adjustments that need to be made before the start of the 2020 season.
Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has previously stated that the Mets will attempt to address their holes in the starting rotation, bullpen, and center field this offseason.
Completing those offseason goals may push the Mets beyond the $208 million luxury tax for the 2020 season, which is previously something that the Mets have avoided doing since the new rules were implemented during the 2003 season.
Asked at the GM Meetings about the Mets' appetite to go over MLB's $208 million luxury tax threshold, Brodie Van Wagenen said he'll have that conversation with ownership only if his player acquisition strategy requires it. Van Wagenen declined further comment on payroll issues.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) November 12, 2019
In speaking with SNY on Monday, Van Wagenen spoke about his current stance regarding his team’s payroll and if the Mets would consider exceeding the luxury tax.
“Our goal is to identify what the acquisition costs are of players and then make recommendations to the ownership group that we think are going to put the team in the best situation to succeed,” Van Wagenen discussed. “So we will do that. And if the luxury tax threshold becomes something we have to consider, then we will talk about it at that time.”
According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the Mets will have roughly $188 million committed to their luxury tax 40-man payroll after contract tendering and arbitration hearings are completed. So, the Mets will likely own approximately $20 million in spending before reaching the luxury tax threshold.
If the Mets were to even consider making a run at one of the marquee players out in free agency, Van Wagenen would certainly need to discuss with ownership about making a splash beyond the luxury tax.
Since the Mets have just under $70 million tied to their payroll for the 2021 season, they could conceivably go beyond the luxury tax just in 2020 and then dip back down below it heading into the following season.
Van Wagenen and his staff have some serious work to do this winter and it could very well include owning a top-three payroll in the league by spring 2020.