Sandy Alderson scrum

Alderson denies claim that finances were limited by loan

Sandy Alderson denied reports of payroll restrictions imposed by banks issuing loans to the Mets and its owners, he told reporters today in St. Lucie (Star-Ledger, Feb. 13).

It was recently reported that the team’s existing loan limits them from greatly expanding payroll, though a new, re-worked loan will eliminate any restrictions (New York Post, Feb. 13).

Alderson indicated his current payroll sits somewhere north of $85 million, when factoring in promotions, insurance, etc., he said (Newsday, Feb. 13).

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

10:50 am: It’s getting to a point where I cringe whenever Alderson talks about payroll, because I know it means a new barrage of e-mails, tweets and comments from people freaking out about the reported number… as if it matters what he says in public. I am more concerned with what the payroll can be, what it needs to be and how those two things square up. And, since one isn’t public knowledge and the other is just opinion, it makes the whole debate seem very futile. It ends up just being fodder for confirmation bias and conspiracy theories.

I mean, for the sake of argument, let’s say the Mets have a $120 million budget, whether based on current revenue, debt limits, who cares. The number is what it is. However, with only 25 roster spots and a group of young players they want to develop that are already occupying space (and who happen to make very little money) they only spend $80 million? What does that mean? Is it different than having just a $80 million budget? Also, how does it change reality to learn payroll is $80 million or $85 million when we don’t know the overall budget? What’s more, when Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey, Daniel Murphy and lots of the current group start earning raises through arbitration, etc., this exact 25-man roster could end up being paid a collective $120 million. Is that OK? Same players, more money. Or, does payroll only matter when thinking about it in terms of missed opportunities?

In the end, it’s about immediate wins… and sustained winning. These things are not always created the same way. I think Alderson is trying for the latter more than the former, which is fine by me. I truly don’t care why he’s doing what he’s doing, be it because of bank limits, debt or simply because it’s the best way to get from here to there. I like the overall plan and direction. It makes sense to me and lots of other fans who understand what it takes to build a sustainable, winning franchise. I’ll only judge and be pissed if it fails…

137 comments
Rob Miller
Rob Miller

Do a lot of major league baseball teams operate their salary budgets on loans from banks?  I never gave much thought to it.

Wayne Labenda
Wayne Labenda

If theMetswerent worried about salary we could have an outfield of Grandy, Ellsbury, and Cruz. You could have gotten a shortstop and first baseman, and more. still wouldn't make highest payroll. I don't see Wilpons living in my neighborhood or driving a Yaris. Not that they should have gotten every player available, but stop talking about spending is not limited. Sell the team, get your billion, and get owners who will put their money where their mouth is.

If Sandy and the Wilpons are looking at what they spend based on how much they lost last year and recent years, they are looking at it the wrong way. Put a WINNING product on the field and they will see revenues INCREASE, don't budget on what you LOST but based on what you can WIN. Idiots.

Ted Finkelstein
Ted Finkelstein

You got it all wrong Mathew.  You are getting involved in the same baloney that the press and the Wilpons are selling.  AN 85 MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET in New York is a joke. Clearly the Mets can survive If they change their business model and spend money to make money.  Clearly it has been successful for the Yankees and it can be successful for the Mets. You come off as an apologist for the Wilpon crooks and it is time for you to do an analysis and admit the Wilpons are feeding New York City Met fans a load of manure.

tullydew
tullydew

"It’s getting to a point where I cringe whenever Alderson talks about payroll"

Cerrone you cringe b/c you have been told to spin the low payroll narrative to "spending smartly" by the Wilpons. You know it's a losing argument and embarrassing for a team in the NYC market to have a smaller payroll then the KC Royals.

That said, you still make every excuse in the book for Sandy and the Wilpons.

mikerolli
mikerolli

Mets fans leave hate messages on the mets phone line

mike miranda
mike miranda

This guy is so full of it. He was hand picked by selig to help The mets out of the madoff crisis but now he's taken pr to a new level. Have to believe there is still some financial restrictions bc otherwise they wouldn't be banking on such a young( read low salaries) team.

Very frustrating.

mikerolli
mikerolli

I'm a mets fan - glad they spent some money but 85 mil is a joke I agree - Alderson wilpon puppet - and with a lot of the comments in here / mets fans angry / they bring granderson and they think just 1

Guy gotta bring fans back?? Nah this the city that never sleeps -

Wilpon u gotta do better than this brother!! Sign Cruz or Drew and the fans will come.

John Paul Cullinane
John Paul Cullinane

The payroll is, "just north of $85 million...when you factor in promotions and insurance..."


This line is priceless...saying anything around $85 million in NY is a joke and a disgrace...but to have the audacity to say, "just north of" to put a little emphasis like we're supposed to be wowed...and the only way you got to above $85 million is when you factor in promotions and insurance...unbelievable...it's those little key words that Alderson says that really sticks it to fans.  He thinks he's smarter and that he can out-wit you with the way he talks and spin things...Get him, the Wilpons, and Jay Horowitz out of NY...please.

Jeff Morrow
Jeff Morrow

He had to say that because it was reported that the refinancing wouldn't have payroll restrictions, and that would mean the Wilpons would be expected to raise payroll now. There's no way these clowns could let that happen so they told Sandy the puppet to lie about it.

tullydew
tullydew

It's a lie every time Anderson opens his mouth.

Higher payrolls have more of a chance to make the playoffs. That's a fact.

MetsFan1962
MetsFan1962

Based on the players signed over this winter, I would say that there is very limited funds available to acquire all of the upgrades the Mets need. Can't buy without cash and little availability on the credit card.

howard_stn
howard_stn

Since they have finished well below .500 every year he has been here, and since this year looks no better, and since he had nothing to to with obtaining their best two players (Wright & Harvey), and since he drafts poorly (no players he or JP drafted have ever cracked the starting line up), and since the bullpen still stinks, and since he got nothing for Jose Reyes, and since he couldn't find a way to trade Ike Davis, etc. & so on- I think we can conclude that Sandy's plan is NOT working- short term or long term or any term.

The team's financial position is better, though.  We are the only fan base that has to worry about the size of owner's mansions.

DIY Degree
DIY Degree

I love Sandy Alderson, but he is a classic example of the principle "no man can be more honest than his boss." It's so painfully obvious that he's covering up for ownership's inability to finance an NYC team. 

This offseason makes no sense otherwise. Sandy understands WAR. He knows this team is only projected to win 75 or so games. If he believes he made the Mets better than that, he should be telling us why outside projections are wrong, and the alternative projections our front office did to believe we're better.

Since he isn't, I have to believe he understands/agrees with those 75 win projections and is simply lying to protect the Wilpons. 

Robert C. Smith
Robert C. Smith

What continually bothers me about the Mets is not that they don't spend as much as they used to - it's the utter lack of creativity when it comes to finding players (not just hoping for Morlon Byrds and R.A. Dickeys to appear off the waiver wire every year, which is impossible). Who is here to push Ruben Tejada? What scout worth his salt believes either Duda or Davis is going to break out? A $1.5 mil proven reliever can't be signed, but roll the dice on retreads again (Valverde, Farnsworth)?


This sums up the Alderson tenure: Two years, $12 for Frank Fransisco, yet two years, $14 was too much to pay Fernando Rodney. Ladies and gentlemen, your chronically confused, too-slow-move, no sense of urgency New York Mets.

Patrick Boegel
Patrick Boegel

Yes, never judge along the path, only judge when the boat is floating or sinking, never visit the assembly line.


Good grief. Don't bother talking about the economics, we get it, it is a third rail that you can't touch.

ctsteve
ctsteve

If you want to be a total cynic, you could say the latest reports of restrictions on the Mets budget really are leaked by ownership as a season-opening excuse for another crappy season by an a team on the field that is less than competitive--again.  Add bank-forced budget constraints to a season without Matt Harvey and you have a nice one-two punch for continued Met mediocrity.  That's if you want to be a cynic...I'm just sayin'

Joshua Shapiro
Joshua Shapiro

I think that's well said Matt.  Unfortunately, we all know how it's gonna go over in the comments.  It's very angry and negative down here.  I can't even read it anymore.  Spring training hasn't even started and you'd think the season was a failure already.  

Bob G
Bob G

Reading Metsblog used to be something I looked forward to, now I check in once in a while to blow off some steam. It's really a shame what this franchise has become. The National League Baseball franchise in New York City is an embarrassment to the fans and the city. One minute there's money, then there's no money. Then we're going to spend it, then we're looking to add an "insignificant" player. THANKS SANDY..an insignificant name added to an insignificant team.


Can someone please explain to me why anyone with more than a nursery school education would spend a nickel going to CitiField??? Are we really supposed to help the ownership/management of this team to stay the course when all they've done is let us down and run a great business into the ground? 


I used to be a 20 game a year guy and I haven't been to City Field since the opening season. 

I went once to see the stadium because my neighbor gave me tickets that were free. I don't plan to spend another nickel on this joke of a franchise until they show me they give a damn.

jlga
jlga

Who cares about the payroll? Just put a winning team on the field. That's all us fans want.

Sadly that isn't happening. They're trotting out possibilities who shouldn't be in the majors and tell us this is what the team needs. Duda, Tejada, Davis....none can hit. Nor can Chris Young. Legarres and d'Arnaud might hit, and they might not. That leaves three players in their lineup. Get REAL ballplayers instead of making promises they'll never keep.

yankeehater
yankeehater

We didn't need another 50 mill to field a legit team. We could have had a modest 110 payroll in 2014, and probably about the same in 2015, and fielded a playoff caliber team both years. By that time guys like dom smith and nimmo (hopefully) would be knocking at the door.

SuperDuper
SuperDuper

Sandy defenders claim finances limits. Sandy just told them that is not the excuse. What will his defenders say now

Serge Marinkovic
Serge Marinkovic

All this is nonsense because this is still a team south of a 0.500 season.  This is a team with a maximum production of 78 wins so who really cares now?  Does Sandy really understand this fundamental problem with his team and why Mets fans will continue to not spend at the gate?  Is he really that nieve?  New Yorkers will not give him another 2 million draw season when by April they are already 4 games below 0.500.  This is the year that they learn you cannot fool New Yorkers long.  A sixth straight sub 0.500 season is and has not been acceptable for these 6 horrible and meaningless and we New Yorkers need to show him and ownership that this self growth model with limited FA is not working and will not provide them with the capitol infusion they want.  Their product is just untenable to us.  So this will be the year that a 1.8 million gate really will wake them up to the real world.  The Mets ownership will be a reality series of their own and hopefully the ownership will change.

Brian Descovich
Brian Descovich

1) How does Cerrone get away with telling Mets fans that HE knows what it takes to build a sustainable, winning, franchise? Based on what?

2) You can dissect the payroll debate in a lot of ways, and to some extent he's right that the accounting method they use is somewhat irrelevant compared to whether they have practical flexibility to do X move or Y move. That's what matters.

But at the end of the day the Mets financial difficulties are on clear display... Our infield has been a huge weakness; we lacked a power bat; and we haven't been able to draw good attendance to Citifield.

And the Mets made no attempt to sign Cano.

Is he perfect? No. VDid Seattle over-pay? Probably. But if the Wilpons weren't hamstrung than any GM in Sandy's position would've aggressively pursued an MVP caliber 2b that answers many of the team's deficiencies.

How can you "like" the overall plan when it involves starting non-major league quality players? And stop referring to the organization as wanting to develop its young talent, we have starting pitchers and a catcher. That's it.

Tejada, Ike. Duda etc aren't that young anymore and likely headed to the minors if they weren't on the Mets. And the rest, including Lagares, aren't prospects. They're just young in age, but with no significant upside.

Zach Ripple
Zach Ripple

I think the hesitation by the Mets with Drew comes from his inconsistency and injury history, as well as the fairly deep market of shortstops expected to hit free agency. Hanley, Hardy, Asdrubal Cabrera and Lowrie are all very good shortstops that will be in that class, and Drew could be there again if he doesn't get a long-term deal. I don't think the Mets want to commit so much to an OK shortstop when he probably doesn't help all that much.

Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan

Its not about a specific number. Its about the ability to add players which make the team better. Drew is no savior, but its absolutely pathetic that they wouldn't even pursue him.  He's basically fallen into their lap and SS is a glaring need. Does Drew provide a tangible upgrade to Tejada? Without question. Will signing him to a 2 year deal preclude them from future free agent acquisitions? Absolutely not.  I really just don't understand what the issue is. There is some injury risk, but he was a 3 WAR player last year, and the market for him has come down dramatically.  It honestly disgusts me the way Sandy almost antagonizes the fans who actually care about the team. 

selldamets
selldamets

The Mets have announced Pete Falcone Day!!!! A look back at years that were as good as these.

30yrmetfan
30yrmetfan

Why do you keep including Murphy with Wheeler and Harvey when discussing having to go into arbitration in the future? Murphy has one more year of arbitration and he's gone. They're not resigning him. By the time Harvey and wheeler are arbitration eligible, Murphy will be 31 and will have been away from the mets for two yrs.

Victor Triguero
Victor Triguero

How can you talk about immediate wins and sustained winning while fielding almost the exact identical team as last year??


Please explain to me how that works??? There are too many if's with this team? More so than any other team not named the Astros.


Tejada "if he can regain 2011-2012 form (where he was still a bottom level SS)

Davis "If he can refer to the 32/90 guy he was 2 years ago

Duda "If Duda can show he can hit

Granderson "If he can provide similar numbers in a more pitcher friendly park

C. Young "if he can hit like it is 2011

Parnell "if he can be healthy"

Colon "If he can stay healthy and pitch like last year at age 40-41

d'Arnaud "if he can finally prove he can hit in the big leagues


Need I go on????


There is absolutely no excuse except money issues. What happened to the TV revenue????

What happened to all the money that came off the books

Why were you the first team to open single game tickets to the public when usually as a franchise you do not do that until late Feb or early March historically

Why are you currently..what?! bottom five in payroll in the biggest national market???

Why did you yap about 2014 like big moves were going to be made???


Stop bs'ing the fan base. I have been a fan of this franchise for too long and I listen to and read everything. They are liars...plain and simple and baseball needs to finally investigate this ownership group instead of sweeping it under the rug

yankeehater
yankeehater

My offseason plan was to sign peralta, choo, granderson, and a legit starter. I at least hit .500.

tullydew
tullydew

Jay Horowitz is a complete moron.

Starz31
Starz31

@MetsFan1962  Hard to say. There's not much out there to dispute what you say but the options in free agency weren't a great fit for this team. We weren't going to break the bank for Cano or Ellsbury. Drew is overvalued right now if he's asking for 3 years and I'm content with the Granderson contract. I think this team's offense is improved this season and with the exception of no Harvey, the rotation could be a strength. This isn't going to be a juggernaut of a team but they have some potential to win games with strong pitching and timely hitting. 

mikerolli
mikerolli

Maybe wilpon needs Obama care - I'm kidding

DIY Degree
DIY Degree

@Joshua Shapiro  In fairness, comments like yours have been made before each of the last three seasons, each of which absolutely became failures. I hope this year is different of course...but can you see why things are so negative? It's like Pavlov and his bell ;)

TheRealSayHey24
TheRealSayHey24

@jlga  Sadly, some might call your comment negative.  It's just stating the obvious truth, and why should a fan put his head in the sand and say the sky is blue?  

Orlando Fernandez
Orlando Fernandez

@Serge Marinkovic  I hear you. But I think the idea (Sandy's)  is to reach a consistent level of excellence, where we have options and talent enough for more than one year of .500+ ball, be that 2014 or whatever. I don't think it's about 2014. Nor should it be, as frustrating as that is for us. 

TheWizard7
TheWizard7

@Brian Descovich  Does Cerrone say he knows what it takes to build a sustainable winning franchise?  I don't think he does.  He kinda just tries to articulate Alderson's narrative or maybe he really believes they are not lying and hamstrung by an awful financial situation they have created with mismanagement.


I like the idea of rebuilding, but I think its obvious that this has been directly connected to the downturn in their personal finances…  I think everyone who reads this blog knows Cerrone has zero baseball expertise, he's just a fan like us with a press pass that now feels compelled to articulate the franchise's party line here...

Orlando Fernandez
Orlando Fernandez

@Zach Ripple  you're right on; in Drew, a nice player, you're buying 125 games at most. I don't think he should get starting shortstop type money or contract.

strato
strato

Their hesitancy comes from every decision they make hinging upon finances. Will Drew make them a playoff team? No. But will he be a substantial upgrade over Tejada? Clearly. He is not a great player, but he is a line drive hitter who will hit a lot of doubles at Citi Field. E ven if Tejada hits like he did 2 years ago, it is a punchless 275. They already have too many black holes in their lineup. What is stopping them from signing him?. Finances. An extra year,10 million maybe. I dont expect themto go after contracts like Cano, but not signing a player who would be a sizeable improvement over what has become chump change in baseball, well that is what a loser is all about. And if you think they are not signing him so they can sign a big ticket item like Ramirez next year, well just keep drinking the Kool Aid

Brian Descovich
Brian Descovich

The issue is the $. It does preclude them from future signings. Every $1mil matters for this team.

We've only signed granderson, colon, and young because the Santana, Bay, Francisco money is off the books. It's not like the Wilpons can invest in the team.

TheRealSayHey24
TheRealSayHey24

@Victor Triguero  It's banking mostly on short term deals, and hoping that the slots come up all 7's, which is extremely unlikely.  It's sad tho, that the fan base has been conditioned to this approach as being "wise" and financially astute.  It's like not repairing your roof and playing scratch off.  


btw, let's hope that after trading, or not committing to all their good players, that the result is a wining team - but it doesn't seem to be a particularly intelligent way to go about building a team.  They've lost half the fan base.  

Joshua Shapiro
Joshua Shapiro

I share the frustration.  I just don't get why being negative about it is somehow more productive.  As if more negative comments had been made the last few years, we'd somehow be better off.

mustang66
mustang66

not to mention they got an extra 25 to 30 mil from mlb this year

hashburry
hashburry

@Andrew Vazzano So, fess up.  You and the other bloggers, Cerrone, et al.  sat down and decided interacting in the comment section was a great way to increase interest in the site.  Come on now, admit it!  You and he have never been in here responding this much.  Coincidence?  I think not.

DIY Degree
DIY Degree

@Joshua Shapiro  I think the negativity is cathartic for lots of us. We can't affect change as fans. Outside the tiny impact we make by going (or not going) to games, complaining and cheering are the only levers we can pull.