Mets GM Sandy Alderson rarely talks in the definitive. Even during a radio appearance on WFAN Monday afternoon he would only coyly give a wink and nod to the most open of secrets, that top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler is likely to make his debut next Tuesday against the Braves.
Which is why it’s so important that the New York Post’s Joel Sherman got him to pin down the team’s payroll for next season.
Alderson estimated the 2014 payroll at between $90 million and $100 million, with $55 million already committed to players who will be on the roster (or receive buyouts). That gives the team $35-$45 million to spend during the offseason.
“I think it is unlikely to go from $55 million to $150 million,” Alderson said. “Do I think we can get there? We would have to outperform our payroll, so we can increase attendance and increase payroll consistently over time. Overall, I agree with you [that a Met payroll should be near the highest], but I think we will get on a progression toward something. We will basically spend [on 2014 payroll] almost as much as we currently have committed next year, so that is a doubling.
"It [the lowered payroll] is not because [of ownership financial problems]. It is because they have been burned by the big, long contacts, so we are not prepared to go from zero to 60 [mph] in 3.5 seconds, which I can’t argue with. But if we have enough young pitching, then $100 million will be enough to be competitive because we can use the money on position players, which is our problem right now.”