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  1. #1
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    It's time for the Mets to reinvest

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/t...in-team-111812
    In recent days, a number of Mets fans have taken to Twitter to remind me of a column I wrote about the team last February.

    The column said that commissioner Bud Selig should persuade his friend Fred Wilpon to sell the Mets if the uncertainty about the team’s finances lingered into this winter.

    “One more season of this,” I wrote, “and no more.”

    Well, that season has now passed. And uncertainty remains.

    The Mets’ financial picture seemingly improved last March when the team’s owners settled with a trustee for Bernard Madoff’s fraud victims, raised $240 million by selling 12 minority shares and paid off $65 million in debts.

    But the true test for the Mets will be how they manage their payroll — a payroll that has dropped from $149.4 million at the start of ‘09 to $93.3 million at the start of last season.

    When will the Mets spend again? Are they in a strong enough financial position to spend again?

    Such questions will linger until the Mets resume acting like a team that plays in New York, not Milwaukee (and actually, that’s an insult to the Brewers, who had a higher payroll and better record than the Mets in 2012).

    I’m not saying the Mets must re-sign third baseman David Wright and right-hander R.A. Dickey at any cost; a case can be made that they should trade both players rather than keep Dickey through age 40 on a two-year extension and award Wright a six- or seven-year extension starting at age 31.

    No, what I’m saying is that the Mets need to do something they have rarely done since the Madoff scandal broke in December 2008 — invest significantly in their team.

    Some Mets fans on Twitter want me to act upon my column from last February and demand that Selig pull a McCourt-style intervention, wresting control of the Mets in the best interests of baseball.

    Problem is, I seriously doubt that Selig would seek to oust Wilpon, who is the game’s second-longest tenured owner and in an outwardly more stable position than he was nine months ago. Other clubs — the Marlins, Astros, Rays, Indians and Athletics, among them — face seemingly more pressing issues.

    But tell that to Mets fans.

    Tell them why, in a year in which the Mets will host the All-Star Game at Citi Field, the team still appears to be operating rather tentatively, as if re-signing outfielder Scott Hairston will bust the budget.

    Why aren’t the Wright and Dickey extensions finished if the Mets truly intend to keep them? Why aren’t the Mets aggressively trying to upgrade their catching, outfield and bullpen?

    More to the point: Why the heck should anyone believe that anything better than a fifth straight fourth-place finish is in the Mets’ immediate future?

    Granted, it’s early. The Mets are negotiating with Wright and Dickey, and GM Sandy Alderson said Friday that the team will need to gain “a little more clarity” on those talks between Thanksgiving and the winter meetings Dec. 3-6.

    In other words, those negotiations soon could produce some type of resolution, enabling the Mets to proceed with the rest of their offseason plans.

    Let’s assume, for the sake of discussion, that Dickey will accept an extension of two years, $22 million and Wright will take one at seven years, $126 million. Such deals, particularly Wright’s, would signal that the Mets were back in business.

    And yet, they still wouldn’t be enough.

    The funny thing about the Mets is that they already have built the most important part of a contending team — a quality starting rotation. Dickey, who is under contract next season for $5 million, would be the ace, followed by Johan Santana, Jon Niese, Matt Harvey and Dillon Gee (assuming he is healthy), with top prospect Zack Wheeler next in line.

    The Giants won the World Series in 2010 and ’12 by pouring resources into their rotation and piecing together the rest. The Mets aren’t close to being that competitive, but with a few strategic moves — and we’re not talking about Angel Pagan for Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez redux — they might be.

    Alas, such things take money.

    The Mets’ financial burden for ‘13 eased when outfielder Jason Bay deferred part of his remaining $21 million in exchange for his release. CBSSports.com reported that Bay will receive $6 million this season, lowering the Mets’ commitments to $62.175 million, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

    Not terrible. And that’s only for ’13.

    The Mets’ commitments for ’14, according to Cot’s, are a mere $13.55 million. Bay’s deferral will add to that; he will be paid a combined $15 million in '14-'15. Arbitration-eligible players such as first baseman Ike Davis and shortstop Ruben Tejada are not included in the total. And remember, Wright and Dickey are not currently under contract in ’14.

    Still: $13.55 million. The number is so low, the flexibility so enticing, the Mets can practically start over. In fact, they can start right now, extending Wright and Dickey, back-loading free-agent contracts, playing their get-out-of-jail-free card a year early.

    But that doesn’t appear to be their plan.

    Meanwhile, the team’s attendance has dropped from 3.15 million in ’09 — the first year of Citi Field — to 2.24 million last season. The Mets’ total ranked 17th in the majors, just behind the Reds and just ahead of the Marlins. Both of those clubs play in much smaller markets, and were disappointed by their respective figures.

    The All-Star Game could help the Mets’ bottom line, but in the end the team will need to produce a better product. A better product costs money. And the doubts will linger, until the Mets start spending again.

    So I guess the Mets are only paying Bay 6 million this year and 7.5 in 2014 and 7.5 in 2015.

  2. #2
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    There were two issues involving the Madoffs that affected the Met Wilpons financially, but the media only seems to focus on one of them: The lawsuit that was settled earlier this year.

    As if once that was settled and put behind them, the Wilpons could go back to doing business as they had always done: field a typical Big Market, high salaried team.

    But everyone seems to gloss over the fact that all those years they were spending big money on mediocre teams, they were receiving regular, fictitious 18-percent returns on their investments. No one seems to be connecting the dots, that once these returns just went away, the Wilpons would be unable to ever spend money like that again.

    Like it or not, as long as the Wilpons are in charge, the Mets will be a small market team playing in the largest market in the country.

    But since they didn't have much success spending anyway, maybe this is a good thing. We'll just have to get used to letting out best players walk while we bring in one Affordable Place Holder after another.
    "Mr. Martin Tanner, Baritone, of Dayton, Ohio made his Town Hall debut last night. He came well prepared, but unfortunately his presentation was not up to contemporary professional standards. His voice lacks the range of tonal color necessary to make it consistently interesting. Full time consideration of another endeavor might be in order."

  3. #3
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    Look at what they did with Bay, disgusting. That further cuts into the mythical 2014 spending spree, it even cuts into 2015.


    So basically what they've done is spread out the cost, but have no plans to increase payroll, so really they've just cut into their 'flexibility' for 2014-15.

    This is one long game of robbing Peter to pay Paul that's all it is.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Mcfly View Post
    Look at what they did with Bay, disgusting. That further cuts into the mythical 2014 spending spree, it even cuts into 2015.


    So basically what they've done is spread out the cost, but have no plans to increase payroll, so really they've just cut into their 'flexibility' for 2014-15.

    This is one long game of robbing Peter to pay Paul that's all it is.
    It's a contradiction, isn't it?

    On one hand, they want us to believe they're planning for the future. On the other hand, they just hurt their payroll flexibility for the future.

    Do not be deceived.
    "Mr. Martin Tanner, Baritone, of Dayton, Ohio made his Town Hall debut last night. He came well prepared, but unfortunately his presentation was not up to contemporary professional standards. His voice lacks the range of tonal color necessary to make it consistently interesting. Full time consideration of another endeavor might be in order."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fanofclendennon View Post
    It's a contradiction, isn't it?

    On one hand, they want us to believe they're planning for the future. On the other hand, they just hurt their payroll flexibility for the future.

    Do not be deceived.
    What type of deception is that?


    "You don't know how to drink. Your whole generation, you drink for the wrong reasons. My generation, we drink because it's good, because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar, because we deserve it. We drink because it's what men do."

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fanofclendennon View Post
    It's a contradiction, isn't it?

    On one hand, they want us to believe they're planning for the future. On the other hand, they just hurt their payroll flexibility for the future.

    Do not be deceived.

    Yes it is, and it's actually pretty common-place, nothing rare about the Mets contradicting themselves.

    It only ever takes a cursory glance and a little common sense to see through everything the Mets do for what it really is, they wouldn't have dumped Bay if he had said 'No, I want all my money now'. But Bay, being a nice guy and probably shouldering some guilt, agreed, his nightmare was over, and Fredo gets to keep the team for one more year, whilst already mortgaging 2014-15 further.

    Yet anther hole in the 2014 myth...

    I suspect this team will be down to around a $80-85M payroll at most by then.

    I think $75M for 2014 is possible I really do, that's their break-even on LAST years att, next seasons att. will be worse.

    People can scream about the Coupons not being allowed to run a small-market team in NY, but they're more or less already running one, it is only the large payroll numbers for '09-'11 that massages the truth. With the exception of Jason Bay they have been running a small-market team since 2008.

    When 2014 rolls around, they may have some flexibility at face value, but if the want they'll just say 'We don't like what's out there' 'We don't to overpay' 'Too many years' 'Not a good fit' - there's a roladex full of cliched baseball excuses they can use, many of which chime with a lot of fans especially those who think losing cost-effectively is something to aspire to.


    Nothing is going to change until Bud Selig says enough is enough.

  7. #7
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    This is going to get even uglier.


    Presenting the 2013 New York Mets Outfield.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rio40 View Post
    This is going to get even uglier.


    We're nowhere near rock-bottom yet, nowhere near. Just look how and why they're delaying Bay's salary...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Mcfly View Post
    Look at what they did with Bay, disgusting. That further cuts into the mythical 2014 spending spree, it even cuts into 2015.


    So basically what they've done is spread out the cost, but have no plans to increase payroll, so really they've just cut into their 'flexibility' for 2014-15.

    This is one long game of robbing Peter to pay Paul that's all it is.
    For 2014 it cuts out 4.5 million dollars of spending. Jason Bay had a buyout of 3 million. So no matter what he would have cost 3 million next year to get rid of. If he is getting around 7.5 million next year it is only 4.5 million. Stop with the nonsense.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Mcfly View Post
    Yes it is, and it's actually pretty common-place, nothing rare about the Mets contradicting themselves.

    It only ever takes a cursory glance and a little common sense to see through everything the Mets do for what it really is, they wouldn't have dumped Bay if he had said 'No, I want all my money now'. But Bay, being a nice guy and probably shouldering some guilt, agreed, his nightmare was over, and Fredo gets to keep the team for one more year, whilst already mortgaging 2014-15 further.

    Yet anther hole in the 2014 myth...

    I suspect this team will be down to around a $80-85M payroll at most by then.

    I think $75M for 2014 is possible I really do, that's their break-even on LAST years att, next seasons att. will be worse.

    People can scream about the Coupons not being allowed to run a small-market team in NY, but they're more or less already running one, it is only the large payroll numbers for '09-'11 that massages the truth. With the exception of Jason Bay they have been running a small-market team since 2008.

    When 2014 rolls around, they may have some flexibility at face value, but if the want they'll just say 'We don't like what's out there' 'We don't to overpay' 'Too many years' 'Not a good fit' - there's a roladex full of cliched baseball excuses they can use, many of which chime with a lot of fans especially those who think losing cost-effectively is something to aspire to.


    Nothing is going to change until Bud Selig says enough is enough.
    Or just a bunch of nonsense not based off of facts but bias.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by metsbulls1025 View Post
    For 2014 it cuts out 4.5 million dollars of spending. Jason Bay had a buyout of 3 million. So no matter what he would have cost 3 million next year to get rid of. If he is getting around 7.5 million next year it is only 4.5 million. Stop with the nonsense.

    Stop with the nonsense?

    Why aren't the Mets just paying him what he is owed now, therefore increasing their 'flexibility' when the team is closer (so the myth goes anyway) to competing?

    Why save $4.5M in what's going to be another 4th place finish season, when that $4.5M could be better spent in 2014?

    You're talking about stopping the nonsense in a post defending the very people that have ruined this franchise with their nonsense?

    That sounds like nonsense.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by clayamtion View Post
    What type of deception is that?
    The deception that they're planning for the future when in fact they're mortgaging it.
    "Mr. Martin Tanner, Baritone, of Dayton, Ohio made his Town Hall debut last night. He came well prepared, but unfortunately his presentation was not up to contemporary professional standards. His voice lacks the range of tonal color necessary to make it consistently interesting. Full time consideration of another endeavor might be in order."

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fanofclendennon View Post
    The deception that they're planning for the future when in fact they're mortgaging it.
    How?
    By deferring 7.5 million in '14 and '15.

    They are trying to resign the reigning Cy Young award winner and their franchise 3b. If deferring 15 million allows them to resign both of them then why not.


    "You don't know how to drink. Your whole generation, you drink for the wrong reasons. My generation, we drink because it's good, because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar, because we deserve it. We drink because it's what men do."

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by clayamtion View Post
    How?
    By deferring 7.5 million in '14 and '15.

    They are trying to resign the reigning Cy Young award winner and their franchise 3b. If deferring 15 million allows them to resign both of them then why not.
    Why do they need to defer money to do that?

    They've slashed payroll by over $40M already, why do they need to defer money to resign the teams best ever player and the reigning NL CY winner?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Mcfly View Post
    Why do they need to defer money to do that?

    They've slashed payroll by over $40M already, why do they need to defer money to resign the teams best ever player and the reigning NL CY winner?
    Because they have a budget.


    "You don't know how to drink. Your whole generation, you drink for the wrong reasons. My generation, we drink because it's good, because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar, because we deserve it. We drink because it's what men do."

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