New York Post columnist Joel Shermanreported that Mets officials have asked to be part of any trade talks involving Carlos Gonzalez or Troy Tulowitzki, should the Colorado Rockies make either player available.
Assuming there’s something to this report besides a desire to drum up website traffic, this is very interesting.
The Mets have lowered their Opening Day payroll from $142.8 million in 2011 to $94.5 million in 2012, $93.7 million in 2013 and $85 million this year. They have $54 million already committed to four players in 2015, plus nine arbitration-eligible players including All-Star Daniel Murphy and closer Jenrry Mejia.
Tulowitzki is signed for five more years at more than $100 million, and Gonzalez has three more years remaining at $53 million. Adding one or both to the Mets’ payroll would show a willingness to spend that hasn’t really been demonstrated since they signed Jason Bay.
It would also signal that the Mets are finally ready to surround David Wright with quality players in an attempt to win now, rather than focusing on the farm system and a future that always seems just around the corner.
Just how much did the Mets expect to pay him, anyway?
Hawkins did a very nice job out of the bullpen for the Mets in 2013, even serving as a reliable closer over the season’s final two months after Bobby Parnell was injured. But he will be 41 years old next season, and I wouldn’t say it’s a safe bet to expect him to duplicate his performance.
Still, $2.5 million is not a very big commitment in the fantasy world of Major League Baseball payrolls.
To a certain extent, all relief pitchers present a certain risk when predicting year-to-year performance. And Sandy Alderson is going to have to find someone else to fill Hawkins’ setup role and serve as the team’s closer at the beginning of the season if Parnell has not fully recovered from neck surgery to correct a herniated disc.
Unless he looks strictly at in-house options and minor league free agents, Alderson is going to have to find a couple of million – maybe more – to pay a relief pitcher. A Major League Baseball team in 2013 should not be in a position where a $2.5 million contract is a big deal, yet that’s where the Mets are.