Reese Kaplan -- All I Want for Xmas May Be Leaving DC...

Christmas may be two months away but there’s a shiny new toy Mack and I would like to see under the NY Mets’ tree this year.  When I was a child I was told not to ask for anything advertised on TV as my parents were poor and their theory was that highly advertised products came at a premium price.  This toy, unfortunately, will as well, but if we get creative it’s possible the Mets can afford it.

Right now there are a few big ticket players on the Mets’ roster who are not destined to be here for very long.  The obvious one is Yoenis Cespedes who, between his heels and the holes on the ground on his ranch, has rendered himself into a very expensive non-entity during the surprisingly competitive 2019 team.

Another similar red mark in the ledger book belongs to Jed Lowrie, that surprising late addition to the NY Mets’ roster which was going to force Todd Frazier across the diamond to play 1B.  How nice for the Mets that those plans didn’t work and Pete Alonso got a chance to play every day. 

The reason I bring up these two players is that their contracts are expiring at the end of this upcoming 2020 season.  Yo is going to be paid handsomely to the tune of $29.5 million.  The man named Jed is going to receive $10 million. 

Theoretically departing this year are the salaries of Juan Lagares and Todd Frazier as well.  Each of them were due $9 million, so that’s another $18 million in the kitty with which to spend.

Now, before you get too excited, remember that in addition to the usual salary bumps and arbitration cases, you have a monster jump in pay for Jacob deGrom who goes from $9 million to $25 million.  There goes $16 million of that money right there. 

Remember, too, that Jeurys Familia accepted a backloaded contract that only paid him $6.66 million in 2019 and he jumps $5 million more to $11.66 million in 2020.  So now you’ve already spent $21 million on those two salary increases alone.   Wilson Ramos’ backloaded contract calls for a $3 million jump in 2020 as well, so you’re up to $24 million.

When the season began in 2019 the Mets were at a $178 million payroll which fell $27 million below the luxury tax threshold for the season.  That number is inclusive of the 40-man roster, by the way. 

OK, so let’s assume we start at a similar number for 2020.  The shiny toy we want is Anthony Rendon who is likely to command close to what Manny Machado and Bryce Harper got last season, though perhaps for a shorter term since he’s already turning 30.  Figure $30 million per year would do it. 

So you have $39.5 tied up in expiring contracts for Yo and Jed.  Ramos is expiring as well, though you have an option.  Justin Wilson is also expiring. 

The question is can BVW convince the Wilpons to approach that $205 number for a single year now with the understanding it should drop significantly in 2021 when these folks are no longer on the payroll?  If so, then Rendon patrolling 3B is indeed a reality and it renders Lowrie into the supersub for which he’s more likely suited at this stage of his career. 

There’s a problem with this scenario, however.  You still need to address the 5th starter void assuming Zack Wheeler and Scott Boras want to see what he’s worth.  Then comes the 2021 crew of Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz who will need more money.  Towards that end you’re going to need a low-cost starter and I can foresee them grabbing a Bartolo Colon type on a one-year deal with an option that gives Thomas Szapucki, Jordan Humphries and Franklyn Kilome some time to develop to fill that void.  Rich Hill, for example, will be 40 and no longer commanding the type of money the Dodgers have been paying him.  He might be the type with whom to tread water until the kids are ready. 

Landing Rendon can be done.  It means swallowing hard on payroll for one year.  Whether or not the Wilpons will do that is Brodie’s job. 


Tom Brennan said...

Stop underspending. 2020 has to be our year.

Nine playoffs in 59 years needs to become a lousy 10 in 60 years.

20 times in 70 years sounds about right, so let’s get serious, Brodie.

Dan B said...

In this Senario where is JD Davis? We’re pushing McNeil to the outfield here so I’m guessing he’s trade bait? Maybe we can trade for a good SP or an elite relieve for him in this scenario. If we’re signing a 200 million player I’d go for Cole in place of Wheeler. Spend the rest on relievers and maybe get an additional or starting CF if the opportunity arises.

Mack Ade said...

I believe Wrights last check is $12mil in 2020.

There's some more.

Pay Rendon $28/29/30 over next three seasons

Alonso, Cano, Rosario, Rendon... Infield done.

Gary Seagren said...

BIG question is will Brodie really be allowed to "go for it" because if he is this idea has legs and if it doesn't work we all know what happens then we blow it up in 2 years. Its the old story though will Fred and Jeffy foot the bill and now that were this close and this franchise is worth what 2 and a half BILLION its time plus Mack and I aren't getting any younger. I don't know how old the rest of you are on this site but Mack and I go back to when they invented dirt and were tired so LGM.

bill metsiac said...

Rendon has already turned down a $200+m deal from the Nats. Anyone thinking he'd take a 3-year deal for half that is dreaming. If he gets less than 8 years/$250 m I'll be very surprised.

We've got a solid young core, and when Bear, Squirrel, 4to, Lugo and others reach arbi status the payroll will jump sky high without Rendon.

Yes, he's a guy I'd love to have, but these long-term deals rarely work out. Rendon IMO is a better player than Harper and more desirable, but going for that kind of deal is crazy.

Mike Freire said...

I would like to have Rendon, just so he doesn't KILL the Mets every time we play the Nats!

If we can't have him, then I hope he goes to the AL, or at least out of our division.......maybe the Angels open the checkbook
and sign him as a nice welcome gift for Joe Maddon?

Erik said...

Rendon is a great 3B and would love to have him on our team, but is the huge amount of money it would cost to get him better spent elsewhere when you have either J.D. Davis or McNeill able to play 3B for about $30M less then Rendon next year. You also have Lowrie who could play 3B in theory if he heals up sometime before the end of next season. Can't imagine anyone trading for Lowrie after his 8 ABs this season.

Maybe pursue Grandal and trade Ramos to the AL? Or try to sign Wheeler or Cole? Definitely need to replace a good part of the pen too.

John From Albany said...

Love Rendon and would love to see him on third for the Mets but don't think that is happening. Too many infielders on roster now and too much money already invested in them. Would rather they target Starling Marte. Pittsburgh may not want to pick up his option unless someone would give them prospects in return. Given the Mets infield depth at SS in the minors would you be willing to trade Andres Gimenez and others for Marte?

bill metsiac said...

I like what I've seen in Marte, but scouting reports I've read say that both his Offense and Defense have declined. He's no longer an elite CFer and now plays a fine LF, a position we have well covered.

If the Pirates bought him out, and he's a FA, I could see signing him, but that would mean trading 4to, JDD, or Nimmo to make room.

Trade a top prospect PLUS others for him? No way!