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The Mets may experience the largest payroll decline in baseball history

Jan 27, 2012, 12:03 PM EST

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This is fun. From Adam Rubin of ESPN New York:

After general manager Sandy Alderson revealed the organization lost $70 million last year, the Mets appear poised to have the biggest one-year payroll drop in MLB history — roughly $52 million. That would surpass the former record: $48.4 million by the Texas Rangers from 2003 to 2004, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

On the one hand: depressing!  Big market + new ballpark + their own sports network should = big payrolls. On the other hand: they’ve had big payrolls for years, and they haven’t broken 80 wins since 2008.

The team is gonna be fairly bad this year no matter what. It may be kind of embarrassing for the league and for some fans that a New York team is slashing payroll so dramatically. But it’s probably better to be cheap and terrible than expensive and terrible, no?

  1. a125125125 - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    “But it’s probably better to be cheap and terrible than expensive and terrible, no?”
    Sam Walton agrees

    • jwbiii - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      So does Walton’s successor, David Glass.

    • istillbelieveinblue - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      The difference being Sam Walton was extremely successful, growing a small five and dime store into the world’s largest retailer. Not too shabby. The Wilpon’s are teetering on bankruptcy and have run the Mets into the ground.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:47 PM

        I don’t think we’ll be seeing any Wilmarts in the near, mid or long term future…

      • paperlions - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        Plus Sam Walton cared about his employees and sold primarily American made merchandise….he realized that he was making a crap load of money either way and ran the place with some pride (personal and national). He died and the place went into the shitter.

  2. buffalomafia - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    David Wright to Yankees!

  3. paulsdamnblog - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    It feels like MLB should have a bake sale for the Mets.

    • jwbiii - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:24 PM

      I’m sure Old Gator has a recipe for baked Wilpon.

      • cur68 - Jan 27, 2012 at 3:15 PM

        I bet its a complicated recipe like preparing blowfish, where a skilled chef must get rid of the poisonous parts to make it fit for consumption. For a Wilpon, it probably involves bleeding, gutting, skinning, and jointing the Wilpon. Then, the tricky part, will be to cook the dish such that the final preparation contains no trace of Wilpon whatsoever. I imagine Gator has a similar recipe for Baked A-Loria.

      • Old Gator - Jan 27, 2012 at 3:28 PM

        You guys have just given me the name of my new restaurant: The Casual Cannibal.

        Well, actually, it would be el caníbal ocasional, since it would be a Mexican restaurant….if we ever franchised I’d protect the haute reputation of the original place by calling the outliers “Quetzal King.”

      • cur68 - Jan 27, 2012 at 3:54 PM

        One of your mascots can be Mayor McQuetzalcoatl

      • jwbiii - Jan 27, 2012 at 4:13 PM

        And I was just hoping for OG’s take on a honey mustard glaze. . .

      • Old Gator - Jan 27, 2012 at 5:19 PM

        All of my expressions are glazed; have been since college.

  4. gmsalpha - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    When did the A’s move to New York?

  5. hep3 - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Did the Mets LOSE $70 million or did they just make $70 million less than the year before?

    Baseball Accounting 101

    • paperlions - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      The brought in $70M less than they spent (i.e. had a negative operating budget). Of course, a lot of the $70M loss (or all of it) likely is just interest payments on various loans.

      • bobwsc - Jan 27, 2012 at 3:24 PM

        and the millions they’re paying Bobby Bo each year

  6. detroitcityryda - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Feel bad for the mets they were my favorite team after tigers .they should start over ny needs both teams to be good . Really hate the yanks for

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 27, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      NY is doing just fine, whether both teams are good or not. Now, the rest of MLB might want the Metsies to be doing well because that increases spending, not contracts spending, and increased spending helps smaller market teams thru lux tax / rev sharing.

      But Good Ole NYC is doing just fine.

      See ya at the SB

  7. detroitcityryda - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Feel bad for the mets they were my favorite team after tigers .they should start over ny needs both teams to be good . Really hate the yanks for

  8. sdelmonte - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Thing is, though, that as far as I can tell, the financial straits of the Wilpons have little to do with baseball. It’s all about corporate mismanagement of assets. Which makes it very much like all the other corporate embarrassments that we’ve seen in NYC the past four years. So it’s almost fitting that a NYC team would reflect the broken economy of my hometown.

    Still not convinced, though, that the team on the field will be that terrible. Talk to me in August.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:33 PM

      Question [I am not an accountant]: We learned from the McCourt saga that owners can use the losses of their teams to offset any gains, thus making it look like the individual’s themselves lost money. Does it work in reverse? Can the Wilpons use personal losses/debts towards the team to claim the Mets took a loss as well?

  9. Jonny 5 - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    And that’s before Wright gets traded. Wow!

    • mets79 - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:37 PM

      It is pretty unlikely that David Wright will be traded in season. He has a club option for more year that is voided if he is traded in the middle of this year and due to the new CBA the receiving team of the trade would not be eligible for draft pick compensation. Wright’s value is not particularly high now coming off an injury plagued year so it would make sense to let him play out this year and hopefully perform better with the moved in fences. If he performs poorly you let him walk (because the club option is 16 million with a million buyout) or if he performs well in 2012 then you pick up the option and trade him because then the team receiving Wright would get him for a full year and they would be entitled to draft pick compensation if he leaves them as a free agent because the deal is not in season.
      So unless someone is really desperate in August and Wright is killing it I can’t see any other team being willing to part with what the Mets would want for D Wright.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 27, 2012 at 2:44 PM

        If Polanco tanks the Phillies might be desperate enough actually. And I know the mets probably value a relief in salary more than his offensive production at this point. At least it would seem so. Thanks for the info on the draft. I was unaware.

      • mets79 - Jan 27, 2012 at 3:07 PM

        Boy that would be a horrendous low for the Mets if they were willing to trade Wright to the Phillies in season to save the pro-rated portion of his 2012 (15 million) of his salary and the million dollar buy out. When you are dealing with owners fighting off bankruptcy there is no low they won’t stoop to though. If the park is empty with 60 games to play the Mets could dump around 5.5 million plus avoid the million dollar buy out netting them over 6 million in savings. They could even try to save face and say that the Phillies are getting him only for 2 months because the trade voids his club option (with no draft pick compensation). Seeing Reyes in a Marlin uniform and Wright in a Phillies uniform in the same season is too much for me. I’m going to go throw up because this doesn’t sound very far fetched.

  10. dondada10 - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Another article bashing the Mets for the sake of bashing the Mets. Ask yourself, how did the Mets “slash” so much pay-roll from one year to the next? Well, about 20 million comes from the fact that they’re done paying Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo. Another 15 or so mil is because K-Rod is gone. You can point to Reyes and Beltran being gone and you’d have a gripe. But let’s not make it seem like they had a fire-sale.

    • aceshigh11 - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:29 PM

      I don’t see any bashing for the sake of bashing in this article. It’s pretty factual…you can’t deny that this team is SCREWED for the next few years.

      But yes, your assessment on HOW they shed payroll is accurate.

  11. Utley's Hair - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    This is quite the interesting bait trap you’re setting here, Craig.

    They’re not slashing payroll!!!!!!!! They didn’t lose $70million!!!!!!!! It’s all a conspiracy to smear chrisny3’s Wilpon family name!!!!!!!!

  12. Old Gator - Jan 27, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    They actually still have the same expenses; it’s just that most of it is being paid to Irving Picard these days instead of overpaid, overexposed mediocrities and quitters like Jeff Francouer, Ollie Perez and Jason Isringhausen.

    • Gamera the Brave - Jan 27, 2012 at 4:35 PM

      Gator,
      I am sure that Craig appreciates your continuing to carry the Frenchy-hater banner to other posts, now that he has dropped it.
      The banner, that is…
      You’re very supportive.

  13. sasquash20 - Jan 27, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Its not all bad for my least favorite team in baseball, they do have some young talent. Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda, Josh Thole, Justin Turner, Ruben Tejada, all have a chance to be good players this season. Davis if healthy could post MVP type numbers. There are also some minor league prospects who the future looks bright in Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia, Zack Wheeler, Brandon Nimmo, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Cesar Puello. Throw in Johan Santana, R.A.Dickey, D.Wright, and Jason Bay(maybe), and you have some talent. I agree I don’t think they will be that good this season but there is hope for the future here.

  14. klownboy - Jan 27, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    METS = My Entire Team Sucks

  15. cool10857 - Jan 27, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    This situation is intolerable. Hey Wilpons, wake up and sell the team!

  16. phillyfan1217 - Jan 27, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    If (when) Wright gets traded to the Phillies, I won’t be a rental, bc once he actually wins on a day-to-day basis on the best team in the league, and part of a great clubhouse, both sides will come to an extension!!!

  17. bbk1000 - Jan 28, 2012 at 5:58 AM

    The Mets are in worse shape than the Dodgers, but Selig likes the Wilpons so is letting them run the team into the ground.

    It’s clear the Wilpons could not have (mis)operated the Mets this long without the magic Madoff money they were receiving all those years.

    They should be forced to sell the team, they are a complete embarrassment to the league.

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