Alderson is unsure how much he will have to spend this off-season

According to Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal, general manager Sandy Alderson said he is unsure how much money he’ll have to invest in talent this winter.

“I haven’t had any conversations with ownership about it,” Alderson said, according to Costa. “I’m still focused on 2012, as is the rest of the front office. Over the next several weeks, that focus will shift, but it really hasn’t yet.”

Meanwhile, Alderson told Costa he is much more confident in re-signing Wright than he was last year with Jose Reyes, saying:

“I don’t think it has to do with leverage exclusively,” he said. “I think it’s because at least there’s a period of time when it’s not do or die. I think he would like to stay in New York, not to the exclusion of all other considerations. And I think there’s a willingness on our part to accommodate that.”

In addition, Alderson told Costa he hasn’t thought of extending Terry Collins nor would he speculate on the likelihood of reaching a deal with R.A. Dickey.

“That depends on what R.A. wants to do,” Alderson told Costa. “I’ve told him personally I think he’s part of our long-term solution and we’d like to have him here beyond next year.”

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I don’t expect payroll to be more than $100 million next season, based on what I recall hearing back in March.

Basically, for the budget to be more than that, the team needed to drive deep in to September and sell a ton of tickets, which isn’t going to happen. The thing is, even if they had, and even if the budget was more than that, I’m not sure they would be spending a ton of money on new acquisitions this winter anyway… mostly because the talent isn’t available.

The Mets could be flush with cash, and I still wouldn’t expect Alderson to spend $20 million on an average starting pitcher when he has Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey slated for his rotation and Johan Santana making $30 million next season.

I think the big moves this winter will be in locking up David Wright and RA Dickey on long-term contract extensions, which will end up costing at least $150 million.

Also, as Peter Gammons pointed out in an interview with WFAN yesterday, no other team in the National League is expected to spend a ton of money this winter either, especially with the Phillies bogged down in contracts like they are and given how much trouble the Marlins are now in.

The early buzz in the division indicates the Nationals will make a strong push to sign Michael Bourne, who is likely to draw interest from the other four teams in the division (as well as the Giants and others). In the end, though, I bet the Mets back off because they will see five years and $75 million as too much money for a guy who is 30 years old, strikes out so much and has a low OBP.