In his calculation, Rubin assumes players not currently eligible for arbitration will earn $500,000, and used the midpoint of the arbitration figures exchanged between the team and both Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy.
Rubin's calculation includes the $21 million owed to Jason Bay.
So, as we've been discussing all winter, the Mets payroll is around the same number as it was last year, but without adding new talent to the roster (and reducing their payroll commitments by parting ways with Jon Rauch, Mike Pelfrey, Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez). Now, Sandy Alderson has indicated he would be able to expand the budget to around $100 million, but that doesn't give him much flexibility to maneuver, especially since he needs to find an outfielder or two, a starting pitcher, and some relief help.
Over the course of the winter, Sandy has suggested he has been pleased with the progress in seeking payroll and roster flexibility, but he is clearly not out of the woods yet. Nearly a third of their 2013 payroll is devoted to Johan Santana, and nearly half of their payroll commitment will be devoted to three players (Santana, David Wright and John Buck). It's clear the goal is to shift from a top-heavy model and to have a balanced payroll which includes a crop of homegrown talent augmented by players on external markets. As I've said before, a $100 million payroll in 2013 would look light years different than a $100 million payroll in 2014. Even if the commitment was hypothetically reduced to $80 or $85 million next year, the roster would probably be much more dynamic than it is today.