Francesa on $100 payroll, and EXACT changes to Citi Field

WFAN’s Mike Francesa has been broadcasting from Citi Field today, and says ALL fences in the outfield will be 8 feet tall next year.

He says both foul poles will remain exactly where they are, however the walls in center and by the Mo Zone in right field will be brought in to around 390 feet.

In addition, from what he’s heard, Sandy Alderson’s off-season budget will be less than what was initially expected (ranging between $80 and $110 million).

“I’m hearing rumblings the team’s payroll could be under $100 million,” Francesa said. He says he’s heard the front office has a plan for each level, be it over $100 million or below.

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Matthew Cerrone: The Citi Field news sounds about right, though I’m surprised to hear they’re actually bringing the walls in at points. I think this is great. In the end, I think having actual players who can hit the ball over the fence makes more of a difference than where the fences are located. But, I do agree with Alderson than the ballpark should be ‘fair,’ and this should help that.

As for payroll, the team has roughly $80 million in commitments for 2012, according to previous reports. I had been hearing since March that next year’s budget would around $120 million. Alderson has indicated to reporters that the team’s payroll next season could be in the neighborhood of $110 million. So, all of this seems to indicate they can spend around $20 million or so, though if what Francesa is hearing is accurate it could mean spending significantly less. This is why I have to think signing Reyes will either happen early or not happen at all… because, this front office is meticulous, they plan and execute and I can’t see them waiting around knowing one guy can hold up so much of their budget.

I entered today thinking there was a very good chance the Mets and Reyes eventually reach an agreement. But, after being here today, talking to people, seeing this report and thinking about the market and how this negotiation will go, I’m not nearly as confident as I was just a few hours ago.

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Francesa says he expects to have Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson and other guests today throughout his show, which you can listen to live here.