Spring training begins in less than a month, and two of the most attractive free agents in baseball history (Bryce Harper, Manny Machado) still do not know where they will play next season.
Neither will end up with the Mets.
How could a team in the largest market in the country, in a sport without a salary cap, not be able to afford it?
"I do not know how many teams have two $ 30 million players," Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon said, referring to Yoenis Cespedes at a lunch with the Mets while explaining why the team would not chase Harper or Machado. .
One problem with that statement is that the Mets do not even have to pay Céspedes $ 29 million salary. The 33-year-old outfielder, whose last season was interrupted by surgery on both heels, will miss a big part of this season and could be lost all year. That would allow the Mets to recover a large part of Céspedes' salary, potentially up to 75 percent, through insurance, as the team did with David Wright in recent years.
Another problem with the statement is that a team within its own division, the Nationals, has two players who earn more than $ 30 million this season (Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg) and still remains one of Harper's suitors.
While the Mets are well below the current luxury tax threshold, and Wilpon had previously said that the team would reinvest the money saved from insurance payments, the team is missing out on the opportunity to attract a generational talent that could make that the Mets compete with much needed, and MVP level, offend a team with a pitching team capable of competing for the championships and also increase the team's income through the sale of tickets, merchandise, etc.
Instead, the Mets do not even get in the batter's box and go around, happy to see a smaller market team spend them again.