As this season slowly crawls down a dark tunnel of despair, as normal many Mets fans look for light at the end of that tunnel. In my attempt at this I have spent time looking at this year's payroll and next year's possible payroll. Assuming that rumors are NOT true and the Wilpons will not cut the budget, the Mets should have around 140 million to work with. Now before you get ahead of yourselves all players on the 40 man roster count towards that payroll. At this point we have about 92.3 million of guaranteed contracts. So we have 48 million to spend, well not exactly. Some of that money is almost assuredly going to arbitration candidates such as Pagan, Feliciano and Stokes. Some of the next steps are not so clear. This is where the fun part comes in. Take a look at this link to our payroll
courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts. Here is my attempt at giving the Mets the best shot to compete with realistic players, trades and a salary under 140 million.Position Players:Carlos Pena (obtained in a trade from the Rays who will look to unload his salary) 10MCastillo 6.25MReyes 9.375MWright 10.25MSantos .4MChone Figgins 7M (Signed as a FA for 3/21, got the idea from a Joel Sherman post
)Beltran 20MFrenchy 3.75MPagan 1MSullivan 1MCora 1.5M (Resigned for less because of age, market and overall numbers, if he does not want to come back at that price then....)Murphy .4M (If Murphy is not traded then he could become a cheap utility player)Jose Morales .4M (Trade with Minnesota. AAA catcher that consistently hits over .300 in the minors as well as his time in the majors, blocked by some guy in Minny)PitchersSantana 21MRich Harden 8 M (Signed as a FA 3yrs/30M, injury risk is there but it is also there in many of the other pitchers on the market. I am flexible here but the replacement has to be RH and under 10 M a year)Pelfrey 2.25MPerez 12MNiese .4MNieve .4MGreen .4MStokes .4MParnell .4MFeliciano 2 MJoe Beimel 2.5M (Signed FA like he should have been this year 2 years/6M)Krod 11MMissing names:John Maine: I have Maine resigned for around 2M. He is arbitration eligible but hopefully the Mets and Maine can work out a cheaper deal to keep him around and rehab on us. If healthy he would compete with Niese and Nieve for a rotation spot or he could go into the pen and work as a long reliever or setup man.Fernando Tatis: Mr. DP had a good run in 2008 but his time with the Mets is done.Brian Schneider: What a frustrating tenure for this guy. Defensive specialist he never was and his BA is actually under .200. All for 5M. No thanks.Tim Redding: Well Omar, Tim fooled us both. I still don't understand those stats from the 1.5 years before this year but let someone else figure that out.Jeremy Reed: I had Reed resigned for 1M and competing with Sullivan for the 5th OF job. He lost and went to the minors. Reed could also be traded.Anderson Hernandez: Back to the minors bud, we will see you in week 2 for Castillo or Reyes.Carlos Delgado: Delgado will be a mystery for whoever signs him. Hopefully it is an AL team that can give him proper rest and a chance to continue to assault the record book. Delgado will most likely still command 8M and that is far too rich for a guy that we have no idea what we are getting. Thanks Delgado for a good run and good luck.Gary Sheffield: I really liked the Sheff pick up this year because he cost us 400,000. Next year Sheff will command much more from an AL team where he can DH again. If Sheff wants to make us a charity case and continue to be a bench player here for 1M then welcome back.Billy Wagner: I will try and not be biased here as I never really liked Wagner's attitude. However, when healthy Wagner was one of the best closer's in the game. Wagner does not have many if any good years left, however, and the Mets nor Wagner can afford for those closing years to be here as a setup man.J.J Putz: We hardly knew yea. It's unfortunate that Putz was not healthy this season. He may have been able to prove his worth for his 9M+ option to be picked up, however he did not and the short budgeted Mets can not afford to pay 9M for a question mark.Feel free to try your own version and post in the comment section.Obviously some of you may have been looking for how I fix the front office mess as well. I chose not to focus on that because no matter who is there their job will be difficult. I think that this is the end for Omar and Assistan GM John Ricco will take his place. As far as manager, my hope is they look outside the organization. My personal pick is Joey Cora, currently with the White Sox and has been under the tutelage of Ozzie Gullien for many years.