I wanted to discuss Bobby Parnell today. but I think it’s important to set the parameters, as set out by Sandy Alderson, for retaining David Wright and R.A. Dickey this winter.
First: he made it clear payroll will remain the same. What that statement alone means for 2013 is enormous.
Payroll was $91.6 million this year. Alderson can say it was $100 million all he wants, with calculations that have at various times included draft bonuses, 40-man roster salaries, etc. Since you’re obviously always going to have a 40-man roster and draft picks, that’s a bunch of accounting tricks to make it seem larger. $91.6 million was what was spent on the major league roster in 2012, and that’s where things can change significantly, year-to-year.
So, in light of that, consider: $50 million for Jason Bay and Johan Santana, including buyouts, which Alderson acknowledged are part of his 2013 budget. $6.5 million for Frank Francisco. $3 million for Jon Niese. And, with no raise, $16 million for David Wright and $5 million for R.A. Dickey.
That’s $80.5 million for six players. Pay the rest the major league minimum of $490,000 in 2013, and that’s $9.3 million, for a total of $89.8 million.
That’s no raise for Wright or Dickey. No Ike Davis, who is arbitration-eligible, no Daniel Murphy, who is arbitration eligible, no Kelly Shoppach or Scott Hairston, both of whom will make more than the major league minimum.
2013 also represents the only tactical advantage the Mets have over other teams in terms of an ability to negotiate a raise for Dickey and Wright. But once again, there’s just not room to give either player a raise, given the salary constraints Alderson cited for next season. This isn’t arguable. It’s not in dispute.
So the Mets are going to Wright and Dickey, who have both indicated that they want to be paid market value, but more to the point, they want to win. And the Mets will have no additional help forthcoming for them in 2013, nor the prospect of a raise.
Exactly how this will act as an inducement for either player to choose a long-term deal over reaching free agency next winter, as the best player and pitcher on the market in a league about to be flush with television money, is anybody’s guess. I suppose if they prefer security to the prospect of getting hurt in 2013 or struggling on the field, that’s the selling point for them to sign now.
But Alderson’s Wednesday presser made it clear: that’s the extent of the sales pitch.