From 2004 to 2011, the New York Mets consistently operated with a team payroll over $100 million with it getting as high as $138 million in 2008. However, Fred Wilpon, the majority owner of the New York Mets was caught up in the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme. With money tied up and or lost, the Mets realized they couldn’t spend the way they had in previous seasons. The 2012 payroll dipped from $120 million in 2011 to $93 million. From $93 million the payroll continue to nosedive $73 million in 2013, good for 8th lowest in the majors. Coming off a great run that ended with a loss in the World Series to the Kansas City Royals, the Mets will do what they can to keep the team together but may ultimately have to let great pieces of the team walk in free agency. Let’s take a look at who some of these players are.
2B Daniel Murphy
Murphy has always been a great above average player for the Mets. He’s not the type of guy that will belt 30 home runs or swipe 30 bases. Murphy will give you a contact bat in the lineup with the ability to play second, third, and first base. Murphy made $8 million in the final year of his contract with the Mets and hit .281 with 14 home runs and 73 runs batted in. He did add 38 doubles and struck out just 38 times. Murphy’s season did not necessarily increase his value that he has portrayed over the last few seasons but his postseason was one for the ages. Murphy hit .328 with 7 home runs and 11 runs batted in during the postseason including a home run in 6 straight games. He won the MVP of the NLCS against the Dodgers but his dominance cooled off in the World Series. He did not hit well and made costly errors. Murphy will ultimately look for a deal in the neighborhood of 5 years $60 million. At that price tag, the Mets will likely let him walk.
OF Yoenis Cespedes
Cespedes was acquired by the Mets in a trade deadline deal. Cespedes changed the demeanor of the Mets and was so hot down the stretch that although spending under half a season in the NL, many thought he could win the NL MVP award. In 102 games and 403 at-bats with the Detroit Tigers, Cespedes hit .293 with 18 home runs and 61 runs batted in. In 57 games and 230 games with the Mets, Cespedes hit .287 with 17 home runs and 44 runs batted in. In a contract year, he put together his best season together with a line of .291 with 35 home runs and 105 runs batted in. After making $3.73 million this year, Cespedes will be looking for a deal that far exceeds that annually. At age 30, he’ll likely demand a contract that looks something like 7 years and $145 million. This number again is something the Mets of today don’t necessarily want to or can get caught up in. Cespedes will likely sign with another team despite an extremely strong stint with the Mets.