Trevor Williams is a goner, and a look at the current and future payroll for the Mets
The Mets are spending big time now to bridge them towards a youth movement, and perhaps the biggest free agent prize of his generation
What’s Up with the Mets? 🍎
The Mets officially announced their two-year contract with LHP José Quintana and one-year contract with RHP David Robertson (Official Release)
The Nationals agreed to sign former Met Trevor Williams to a two-year contract (MASN)
💰Show me the money, for now! 💰
The Mets added the following salaries to their 2023 payroll this week:
Justin Verlander - $43.3 million
Brooks Raley - $5 million
José Quintana - $13 million
Brandon Nimmo - $20.25 million
David Robertson - $10 million
Currently, with existing contracts, the new contracts listed above, arbitration projections, money owed to pre-arbitration eligible players, as well as the $20.25 million owed to Robinson Canó and the money earmarked for player benefits, the Mets luxury tax/CBT payroll projects to be between $320 - 330 million in 2023.
The Mets will be required to pay a 90 cent tax on every dollar they spend over $293 million, which has been dubbed the, “Steve Cohen Tax Threshold” in the new collective bargaining agreement.
Assuming the player benefits fee remains the same going forward, the Mets have around $227 million committed next season, but drops to $110 million in 2025 and $87 million in 2026. That is of course before they add new contracts and project arbitration numbers for players who will be eligible at that time.
But those falling salary projections - even if they end up higher with new free agent contracts and arbitration figures - is contributing to the Mets strategy of short term, high dollar spend now (except for Nimmo, but that’s not really a “high dollar” spend in this market place).
Perhaps this flexibility will set them up for a run at Shohei Ohtani’s free agency next winter? Remember - Mets GM Billy Eppler recruited and ultimately signed Ohtani while with the Angels before the 2018 season, so there is an important relationship which has been established as the Mets would unquestionably be competing with the Yankees, Dodgers, Padres, Giants, Red Sox and maybe even teams like the Cubs, Astros and Rangers, ie all of the high rollers for the CAA Sports casino at next year’s Winter Meetings.
Put this paragraph in your iPhone or Android notes and set a reminder to read it again 10 months.
Still, one thing is for certain on the Mets roadmap - they’re all-in for 2023 and are setting themselves up financially for the next four years. There should be nothing stopping Steve Cohen and Billy Eppler from completing the 2023 puzzle with either Kodai Senga or Chris Bassitt, getting another left-handed reliever (and maybe another right-handed reliever), and getting creative to improve the offense (and the bullpen) in the trade market once that begins to evolve.
It’s hard to believe the Mets - who are already well beyond the highest tax bracket of payroll - would pause their work on the roster to save a buck now, especially when there’s an opportunity now and an ability to be just as good - if not better - next season and in the years to come with a smaller, albeit market-competitive payroll.
The tax is an unfortunate price to pay for a team that wants to win now but cannot do so with their pipeline from the minor leagues just yet. Soon enough though, the likes of Brett Baty, Francisco Álvarez, Alex Ramirez, Kevin Parada, Ronny Mauricio, Matt Allan and maybe players like Willy Fañas and Simon Juan way down the line will factor into a blend of younger, less expensive talent with veterans procured from the outside, which will in-turn fulfill Steve Cohen’s vision of a sustainable product at the major league level.
As good as the Mets roster was last year and should be in 2023, imagine a future roster built around those younger talents combined with the financial might of this ownership group in free agency, just for one second.
There’s your zen moment of the newsletter.
Until then, show me the (big) money!
Hot Stove 🔥
The Braves and Dansby Swanson have had minimal negotiations so far this winter (MLB.com)
Carlos Rodón is now seeking a seven-year deal (New York Post)
The Twins are finding interest in a trade for Max Kepler (Athletic)
The Yankees could be the team to watch in the Carlos Correa sweepstakes (ESPN)
The Giants have yet to seriously pursue Correa (ESPN)
The Padres made their 11-year contract with Xander Bogaerts official on Friday (release)
The Cardinals made their five-year contract with Willson Contreras official on Friday (release)
The Rangers made their two-year contract with Andrew Heaney official on Friday (release)