Payroll would need big leap to support Tulo

NEW YORK -- Let’s say the Mets pulled off the seemingly unlikely and landed Troy Tulowitzki in a trade this winter, which requires the Mets ponying up the winning package of prospects, starting with Noah Syndergaard.

What would the Mets’ payroll look like in 2015? And could the franchise support two players making $20 million a season?

Troy Tulowitzki

Troy Tulowitzki

#2 SS
Colorado Rockies

2014 STATS

  • GM91
  • HR21

  • RBI52

  • R71

  • OBP.432

  • AVG.340

Of course, the Mets could always try to deal Bartolo Colon and/or Daniel Murphy this winter to shed some money. But let’s look at existing commitments and see what type of payroll would be needed to support adding the Rockies shortstop even without any other notable retooling of the roster.

Tulowitzki is owed $20 million a season through 2019, then $14 million in 2020. He has a $15 million team option for 2021 that includes a $4 million buyout.

I haven’t done any calculations as to what the arbitration-eligible players’ raises would be, so below are crude estimates (with 2014 salaries in parentheses).

Guaranteed contracts

Tulowitzki $20M

David Wright $20M

Curtis Granderson $16M

Colon $11M

Jonathon Niese $7M

Subtotal: $74M

Arbitration-eligible players (including potential Super 2s)

Murphy $8M ($5.7M)

Dillon Gee $5M ($3.625M)

Lucas Duda $4M ($1.6375M)

Bobby Parnell $3.7M ($3.7M)

Jenrry Mejia $2.5M ($590,675)

Eric Young Jr. $1.95M ($1.85M)

Ruben Tejada $1.75M ($1.1M)

Anthony Recker $900k ($505,340)

Subtotal: $27.8M

That’s a total of 13 players making roughly $101.8 million.

There are 12 other players required to fill out a 25-man roster. Let’s say they all make close to the major league minimum in 2015, which will be adjusted upward modestly from this year’s $500,000 figure based on a cost of living calculation. That’s a total of at least $6 million.

Then, Mets officials previously have said another $4.5 million or so is always added into payroll estimates to account for things such as more than 25 players on the payroll at any given time (because of DL, etc.).

So let’s add $10.5 million to the $101.8 million.

So without any winter modifications other than letting expiring contracts lapse (like Chris Young's), adding Tulowitzki’s contract and otherwise returning the team intact means the Mets payroll would be about $112.3 million in 2015.

In fact, if you just had a $500,000 player instead of Tulo on the 2015 roster, the Mets’ payroll still would be up considerably from this year’s total before any modifications at all -- from roughly $85 million now to $92.8 million.