Here's the second in my series summing up the payroll situations for the Braves NL East opponents for 2013. In this installment, we're looking at the New York Mets. The Mets, who carried a substantial payroll for the prior four seasons, cut their payroll drastically for 2012; their $94.5M payroll this season is their lowest in the past twelve years. Only a few Mets players are committed for 2013, and the Mets front office has a lot of decisions to make.
- $20.5M to Johan Santana. (Total contract value is actually $25.5M for the year, but $5M is deferred.)
- $16M to Jason Bay
- $6.5M to Frank Francisco
- $3M to Jon Niese
That's it for committed money: $46M for four players. However, the Mets also have two options on important players to make decisions on:
The Mets will likely pick up both of these options, which brings the payroll committment to $67M. Now let's look at the notable free agents:
- Jon Rauch: Signed for $3.5M in 2012. He has put up some pretty good numbers this year, but it may be luck as he's posted an atypically low BABIP, and his xFIP is way above his current ERA. The Mets may look for a cheaper option.
- Kelly Shoppach: Acquired a few weeks ago from the Red Sox, where he was a huge bargain at $1.35M for the 2012 seasons. He's had an excellent seasons and is looking at a big raise on the open market. The Mets would probably like to re-sign him, since their other catchers have posted a combined -0.4 fWAR this year. Figure $6M if he's re-signed.
- Scott Hairston: Probably due a raise since he signed for only $1.1M in 2012 and has compiled a 1.8 fWAR in only 317 PA. Might take $3M to re-sign him.
- Chris Young: This is a murky situation. Young signed a minor-league contract late in spring training, and the Mets called him up in June. Since then he's made 16 starts and pitched 90 innings, presumably while being paid the ML minimum or close to it. The results have been mixed at best. If I had to guess, I'd guess that the Mets will not be interested in re-signing him, although not doing so leaves them without a fifth starter for the start of 2013.
Finally, the Mets' notable arbitration-eligibles:
- Mike Pelfrey (arb 3): Signed for about $5.7M in 2012, and will win not much less than that in arbitration even though he was out for most of 2012. After a hot start, Pelfrey had Tommy John surgery in May, and will not be available in 2013 until June at the earliest. Lots of speculation recently that the Mets will non-tender.
Andres Torres (arb 3): Signed for $2.7M in 2012, and will earn similar in 2013. MLBTR thinks he will be non-tendered (with the Mets installing not-yet-arb-eligible Kirk Nieuwenheis in center field).
- Daniel Murphy (arb 1): Has had an okay 2012 season. Will probably be worth about $2.2M in arbitration.
- Bobby Parnell (arb 1): Despite being one of the Mets fans' favorite whipping boys, he's actually had a pretty decent season. Figure $2.5M in arbitration.
- Manny Acosta: I'm actually not clear on his arb-eligible status for 2013. 2012 would have been his arb 1 year; he signed for $875,000 to avoid arbitration. However, he was outrighted off the 40-man roster in May and wasn't recalled until the end of July. As a result he will not reach four years of service by the end of this season. His stats have not been good this year so the Mets will probably not want to sign him for much more than the minimum, and if he is in fact arb eligible, he's probably a non-tender candidate.
It is looking like roughly $85M for all of the above players that the Mets will want to retain. How much this leaves for free agent signings, after the other players are renewed, depends a lot on what the ownership decides to set the budget at. If they stick to a number close to the 2012 budget, that will be less than $10M.