The Mets haven't really commented on what their payroll will look like next seaosn. But, the way I see it, they can probably add roughly $50 million to their payroll next season, which -- right now -- is projected to open around $105 million when you factor in raises and players under contract.
That $105 million does not include Yoenis Cespedes, Bartolo Colon or Neil Walker.
However, it does include Jay Bruce, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia, Addison Reed, Travis d'Arnaud, Lucas Duda, Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Wilmer Flores, Rene Rivera, Juan Lagares, and, of course, David Wright, among others.
Reyes (7) celebrates a solo home run with Cabrera (13) at Citi Field. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
It will cost at least $25 million next season to keep Cespedes, which brings that available money down to roughly $25 million.
I believe the Mets want to bring back Walker, and will gladly have him accept their inevitable $17 million, one-year qualifying offer. However, that would then bring down their available spending cash to around $8 million.
Do you still want Bartolo Colon back in 2017? If so, there's your remaining $8 million and $155 million payroll, which is the same as it was 2016.
The above team is also more or less the same group that battled to win a Wild Card spot last season. And, if their pitching is healthy, we know they're capable of winning 90 games, the NL East and getting to a World Series, because we've seen them do it before.
Walker (20) greets Cespedes (52) after his two run home run at Citi Field. (Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
That said, if Cespedes decides to play someplace else, or if Walker passes on the qualifying offer and, instead, gets a three-year deal from another team, the Mets will then have roughly $40 million to go a different direction. In that case, what will they do?
My hunch is they'd use that money to beef up the bullpen, and possibly get an every-day center fielder. Obviously, Cubs OF Dexter Fowler comes to mind.
Then, I think they'd use the remaining money to acquire a platoon partner for Wilmer Flores at first base, who could also be their fourth or fifth outfielder.