After a quiet stretch following the completion of the R.A. Dickey trade, the New York Mets are starting to resurface in the free agent market as the offseason begins to wind down. With pitchers and catchers due to report in mid February, the Mets still have a lot of holes to fill on their team. They also have some business to deal with in terms of arbitration for pitcher Bobby Parnell, first baseman Ike Davis, and second baseman Daniel Murphy. That news, along with some news on the World Baseball Classic and free agency rumors, highlight this week's edition of Mets 101 News and Notes. Let's get started with:
After trading away Josh Thole, the Mets were left with three arbitration eligible players: Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy, and Bobby Parnell. The team agreed to terms on a one year deal with Parnell worth 1.7 million dollars on Thursday, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports. The Mets also settled their arbitration case with Ike Davis today, agreeing to a one year deal worth 3.1 million dollars for 2013, Rubin also reports. With those two already signed up, that leaves Daniel Murphy as the only unsettled arbitration case for the Mets. Murphy has asked for 3.4 million dollars in 2013 while the Mets have countered with a 2.55 million dollar offer.
The World Baseball Classic is returning this year, which will take big leaguers away from spring training in order to compete for their countries. David Wright was named to the United States roster, and he was the only Met named to any roster at this point. Another notable name on the U.S. roster, which will be managed by former Yankees skipper Joe Torre, is R.A. Dickey. The recently departed Dickey figures to be the ace of the United States' pitching staff.
Johan Santana, who is currently ineligible for the Classic due to his injury, believes he will be healthy enough to pitch for Venezuela in the event, MetsBlog.com reports. Santana is currently ineligible for the event due to a rule that prohibits players from participating if they spent more than 60 days on the disabled list in the previous season or were on the disabled list after August 31. Santana believes he will become eligible through a certification process held by the Classic's organizing committee. The Mets have not officially weighed in on Santana's desire to participate in the WBC, but they are likely not thrilled by Santana's desire to pitch for Venezuela. Many of baseball's top pitchers, including AL Cy Young winner David Price and former MVP Justin Verlander, declined to pitch in the event in order to focus on preparation for the season. The fact that Santana, who missed a lot of last season while injured, may pitch in the WBC cannot be encouraging to Mets brass.
The Latest on Brian Wilson:
The Mets have been linked to a lot of names in free agency, but none has been bigger than former Giants closer Brian Wilson. Wilson reportedly wants to pitch in New York, but he is currently an unknown quantity following Tommy John surgery in 2012. Wilson, who is seeking a guaranteed deal, won't find one in San Francisco. Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that the Giants do not plan on bringing Wilson back for 2013, opening the door for the Mets to sign him. Wilson previously held a private workout for General Manager Sandy Alderson, but Alderson walked away from the workout willing to only offer the former All Star a minor league contract.
One question that has been popping up lately in regards to the Mets is where their payroll is at the moment. The team remains the only big league club not to sign a free agent to a major league contract, and has several glaring holes to fill (see the outfield). ESPN New York's Adam Rubin performed an analysis of the payroll and concluded that the Mets are spending roughly 94.8 million dollars on the 2013 team. That figure is a bit deceiving, because it includes 21 million dollars allocated to outfielder Jason Bay, who is no longer on the team and accepted a buy out which included deferred money. If you subtract Bay's commitment, the team has only 73 million dollars allocated to players on the big league roster, which would put them in the bottom third of Major League Baseball. The Mets currently have less money committed to the big league payroll than notorious free spenders such as the Kansas City Royals and Arizona Diamondbacks. While the payroll figure may raise with a few late free agent acquisitions, it is difficult to see that the team's free agent pickups can significantly improve the roster at this point.Tags: Adam Rubin, arbitration, Baseball, Bobby Parnell, Brian Wilson, Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Ike Davis, Johan Santana, MLB, New York, New York Mets, Payroll