When looking at what the Mets should/could do this off-season, it is imperative to understand the Mets are on a budget. They are not the Yankees or the Red Sox and are prepared to take their payroll over the $120 million threshold to fill their every need. Under Omar Minaya's reign, the Mets have shown they will spend big, but they have also shown they are going to be frugal when they need to and look for undervalued players, players they project to improve, and other bargains. This off-season will be no different. What do the Mets have to work with? Let's see.
I'm going to cheat a bit and use mlbtraderumors.com's 2007 Mets Outlook as a basis for the salaries.
C Paul LoDuca - $6.50
C Ramon Castro - $0.80
1B Carlos Delgado - $14.50
SS Jose Reyes - $2.50
3B David Wright - $1.00
IF Julio Franco - $1.10
LF Lastings Milledge - $0.42
CF Carlos Beltran - $12.00
RF Shawn Green - $4.95
OF Endy Chavez - $0.50
SP Pedro Martinez - $14.00
SP Tom Glavine - $12.00
SP Oliver Perez - $1.90
SP John Maine - $0.33
RP Billy Wagner - $10.50
RP Duaner Sanchez - $0.40
RP Aaron Heilman - $0.36
RP Pedro Feliciano - $0.33
Total Current Payroll = $83.98
I've penciled Glavine in there because I truly believe he is coming back. I also figured they would settle on about $12 million per year somewhat splitting the difference between the team and player option. For Green, the Mets and Diamondbacks split the $13.25 remaining on his contract from the point of the trade with the Mets picking up $6.95 and the Diamondbacks picking up $6.3 million. I've estimated the money the Mets will actually be paying him in 2007 at $4.95 million. What we also need to keep in mind is that the Marlins are picking up $2 million per year of Delgado's salary which leaves the Mets at about $81.98 million.
We've established that the Mets will owe about $81.98 million to the players they already have in-house. We have also heard from Omar himself that the payroll will be about the same as it was in 2006. If the Mets payroll is about $105 million, the Mets would have roughly $23 million to spend with Omar probably able to stretch it up to $110 for about $28 million to spend if he needed Wilpon to reach deep down for the 'right guy'. Before anyone gets all mad and starts calling Wilpon cheap, he just finished paying Nelson Doubleday $137.9 for sole ownership of the Mets and assumed additional debt worth approximately $57.6 million (added on top of his portion of debt which was the same) while gearing up to privately fund a stadium.
Tomorrow we can go over a few scenario's in which that money can be allocated that will include the non-optimal ones, but ones that fans are pushing for nonetheless.
According to Garber, playing for a contender is Loretta's top priority. The 35-year-old Loretta hit .285 with five homers, 59 RBIs and a .345 on-base percentage this past season with the Red Sox. He is a career .299 hitter, with his best year coming in 2004 with the Padres when he hit .335 with 16 homers. Defensively, Loretta only committed four errors this past year, tying for second-best among AL second basemen.
Meanwhile, Jose Valentin's agent, Dave Elston, said yesterday that he spoke to Mets special assistant Tony Bernazard on Friday and that the parties would speak further.
Elston said he was "cautiously optimistic" about Valentin re-signing with the Mets. He admitted, though, that "half a dozen teams" have inquired about the free agent second baseman.
Loretta made $3.25 million in '06 and would probably be slated to make about the same in 2007. His slg% was .361 in the AL East which has it's share of offensive parks and .347 in 2005 with San Deigo. He did manage to slug .441 and .495 in 2003 and 2004, but I think he was aided a bit in those years being he never topped seven homers until he knocked 13 and 16 in back to back years. He hits righties and lefties equally and does not figure to be a platoon partner with Jose Valentin, but Valenin is intriguing in that he can play the outfield as well as all of the infield positions. The Mets might try and bring Valentin back as a utility player, but we all know he did not light the world on fire off the bench in '07.
"Every indication that I got is his shoulder is feeling great, that he's got good range of motion and just that his rehab is going well," Cuza said yesterday. "We're on schedule, maybe ahead of schedule."
Jose Reyes went 1-for-5 with a run scored and David Wright was 0-for-1 as the MLB team took a 2-0 lead in the five-game series.
Mulder is "about three weeks ahead of schedule" on his rehab program, Clifton said, and Mulder should begin a throwing program around New Year's and be ready to throw off a mound March 1. "He's pretty optimistic, because he's feeling good and the doctors and physical therapists are happy," Clifton said. "He had some fraying and a small tear, not a complete tear. It's not a Pedro (Martinez) situation."
I still think he is more of a last resort than anything. Omar checks into every single warm body out there so to see the Mets associated with a free agent is not really shocking.
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