There are two things to take away from the above chart:
Santana + Bay + Wright = $57.4 million
Rest of Roster = $43 million
A pretty sad state of affairs.--
One thing that I noticed, in all the hand-wringing about Jason Bay's salary, is how many people are claiming that they knew at the time that the Bay signing was terrible. UH-WHAT? I don't think so! That was ONLY Fonzie Forever, while the rest of you Mets fans suspended disbelief. Metsblog put together some internet reactions to Bay ... most were positive, if reluctantly so:
Ed Ryan from Mets Fever says, “Nice job, Omar.”
According to John, from Metstradamus, “This is a good move. In a vacuum, it’s a great move.”
On the other hand, while Mets Grrl likes Bay, she explains why her reaction was just, ‘ehhh.’
Mike Silva of NY Baseball Digest explains, “When it’s all said and done, the Mets needed Bay.”
Greg Prince of Faith and Fear in Flushing is happy to have Bay, but says, “Mind you, I’m not overwhelmed by his presence. He’s not a franchise player, but he’s performed at a high level for quite a while now and he’s not in his early forties.”Matt Cerrone of Metsblog said "I like it, I don't love it."
In a post to Amazin Avenue, Dan Lewis asks if Bay will be the team’s best-hitting left fielder ever; also at Amazin Avenue, Sam Page explains why Bay is a ‘heck of a consolation prize.’
Only here did we say Jason Bay is a Colossal Mistake. When you're right, you're right.
The Mets will be rolling with a payroll of between $91 and $100 million next season, meaning that they have trimmed almost $50 million of the payroll in one year. There is unlikely to be further relief in the next few years, seeing as Santana, Bay, and Wright will most likely not go anywhere, but that's a tremendous cut.
How much of that is Madoff related? You HAVE to think that if the Mets were in a normal state of finances right now, they they would have been able to simply reinvest that money into the team, don't you?
I wouldn't have run out and spent it all on Pujols, but my goodness, could you imagine? Want to put some butts in the seats at Citifield next year? How about this lineup (with Pujols at $25MM and Reyes at $15MM).
They would score a thousand runs (and yes, I realize Bay is not in the lineup). Bay and Santana come off the books in 2013, which would be offset by raises in our long term deals, but the lineup above is NO MORE EXPENSIVE than the payroll we've been running the last three seasons.
As we've been saying all along -- the money helps, but you've got to spend it wisely.