Wilpon: Payroll may drop 30 percent

May, 24, 2011
5/24/11
3:54
PM ET
Not only is Jose Reyes probably outta here, the Mets won't be reinvesting the money. Fred Wilpon acknowledged to Sports Illustrated that the payroll could go down about 30 percent next offseason.

If the Mets' payroll is roughly $140 million this year, that means $98 million next year. And if $65 million comes off with Reyes' departure and because Francisco Rodriguez doesn't vest, only about $23 million gets put back in next offseason -- with the need for a shortstop and a closer. And that's not even taking into account raises to other players.

"That's fair," Wilpon told the magazine. "If you invest your $100 million properly, as most clubs that are competitive are in that range . . . I think that we have to see what Sandy [Alderson, the general manager] wants to do, and Sandy wants flexibility. And I'm trying to give him the ultimate amount of flexibility. He's going to have to make those decisions . . . The answer to your question is yeah, that could happen."

Also in the SI article, regarding a sale of a minority share ...

Wilpon says the $200 million cash infusion already has been earmarked: $25 million to pay off an emergency loan that Major League Baseball extended last November, $75 million to pay down $427 million in debt the Mets are carrying ($375 million to banks and another $52 million to MLB, which extends low-interest loans of that size as a matter of course to all clubs) and $100 million toward operating costs. Wilpon says the Mets “are bleeding cash” and acknowledges that they stand to lose as much as $70 million this year.
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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