Jose Reyes will make $3 million less per season than Carl Crawford, on a deal that lasts a year less, even though Reyes plays a more important defensive position and was a year younger at time of signing.
Not to depress you further, but Sandy Alderson’s full meeting with reporters Sunday night contained plenty of reason for pessimism beyond the major topic of the conversation: that Jose Reyes isn’t coming back to New York.
Listen to this answer from Alderson about whether ownership’s losses with Bernie Madoff played a part in the decision not to sign Reyes:
“Bernie Madoff and his specter are always referenced in these situations. I don’t really think Madoff has that much to do with it. But when a team loses $70 million irrespective of Bernie Madoff or anyone else, that’s probably a bigger factor in our approach to this season and the next couple (emphasis added) than anything else.”
In other words, this new austerity isn’t anything temporary. And Alderson didn’t even commit to spending the money not spent on Reyes on other players.
But what does the next couple mean? Let’s say it is the winter of 2012 and 2013. What exactly would put the Wilpon ownership group in position to, at that point, afford anything? They have a $430 million loan against the team due to be paid back in full in June 2014. Think that’s a year they can spring for more payroll? They have a loan against SNY of $450 million due back in full in June 2015. Think that’s a year they can afford anything? And we’re not even touching the $600 million they still owe, in bi-annual increments of around $25 million every six months, nor any judgment against them in the lawsuit brought by Irving Picard, trustee for the Bernie Madoff victims. Or the still-being-negotiated deal with minority investors, which would call for the Mets to come up with around $170 million in 2017. That sounds like a year they’ll increase spending, right?
If it helps any, all that is what makes it unlikely they’ll be around as owners to exercise such draconian measures over even the medium-term.
But we’ll have more here on the potential signing of Matt Capps. And I mean that in the largest possible sense, until the day new owners take over the team.