Chris Walendin, Contributor: Technically, the 2013 Mets are a hundred million dollar team. In fact, the team’s current payroll (as of this morning) sat at $102.2M. But here’s how that $102.2M breaks down:
Infield, $24.6M – If you just looked at the Mets infield, you might think that maybe this franchise was investing in its on-field product like a young, big market team should. Nearly half of this money covers team captain David Wright’s $11M salary, with $6M going to Buck, about $3M apiece to Davis & Murphy, and a league minimum stipend of roughly $500K to Tejada.
Outfield, $3.2M – Aaaand now that illusion is gone. Veteran Marlon Byrd tops the much-maligned bunch at $700K, with Duda, Baxter, Valdespin, Lagares, and new Met (sigh) Rick Ankiel taking home about a half a million each.
Rotation, $8.6M – The Mets’ most expensive offseason acquisition, Shaun Marcum, makes $4M, Jon Niese gets $3M, and the trio of Gee, Hefner, and Batman, er, Harvey collect $500K apiece.
Bullpen, $5.5M – Closer and recent arbitration qualifier Bobby Parnell makes $1.7M, veteran free agent LaTroy Hawkins makes $1M, Lyon makes about three-quarters of a million, and Burke, Rice, Carson, and McHugh make do with $500K each.
In total, that’s $41.9M being spent on the players on the field. But wait, wasn’t this a $100M team?
Disabled List, $39.2M – The man who gave the Mets their first no hitter is costing them $31M this year, and doesn’t project to throw a single pitch. This happens to pitchers, but man is it a tough pill to swallow. The only good news here is that Santana’s contract expires at the end of the season. Former closer Frank Francisco’s collecting $6.5M on the shelf, Atchison’s getting $700K, and Mejia and Familia are making the league minimum.
Gone, $21.1M – Many Mets fans rejoiced when perennial disappointment Jason Bay finally got the ax last fall. Unfortunately, the Mets still have to pay him. Handsomely. For one more year.
To recap, as of today, the Mets are paying 25 guys $41.9M to play baseball for them, and 6 guys $60.3M to not play baseball for them. That is not an optimal allocation of resources. But it’s the result of mistakes made primarily several years in the past. So hopefully it’s a problem we as fans won’t have to deal with (at least not to this degree) past the 2013 season.