Mets uncommitted after 2013? Not so fast

November, 22, 2011
A large percentage of the Mets' payroll will be concentrated in Johan Santana and Jason Bay through 2013, but those obligations could extend to the following season as well.

Santana will make $25.5 million in 2013 (with a portion of the money deferred), but his earnings that season actually should increase to $31 million because the Mets also would owe him a $5.5 million buyout of 2014.

However, the team option instead becomes a player option for 2014 at $25 million if Santana logs 215 innings in 2013 or 420 innings between 2012 and 2013.

Of course, reaching either innings threshold will be an uphill battle, since Santana likely will be diminished as he returns from serious left shoulder surgery. Santana exceeded 215 innings five straight seasons, but the final year of that streak was 2008, in his inaugural season with the Mets.

It's not exactly commonplace to reach 215 innings. In fact, the last five Mets to do it were Santana in '08 (234.1 IP), Pedro Martinez in 2005 (217 IP), Mike Hampton in 2000 (217.2 IP), and Frank Viola and David Cone in 1991 (231.1 IP and 232.2 IP).

Bay, actually, is far more likely to reach his contract-option statistics, unless the Mets bench him. Bay has a $17 million option for 2014 that kicks in if he reaches 600 plate appearances in 2013 or 500 plate appearances apiece in 2012 and 2013.

So, at least conceivably, Santana and Bay could be under contract in 2014 at a combined $42 million.
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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Daniel Murphy
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