PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Meeting with players for more than an hour Thursday at Tradition Field, MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner said he thinks the Mets will need to raise payroll to become a competitive team.
"Look, the New York franchise in the National League is one of the flagship franchises in baseball," Weiner said. "I think everybody would like to see the Mets as a competitive team, and it's going to require a higher payroll. I trust that the Wilpons, Sandy Alderson, John Ricco, all those people will end up putting together a competitive team shortly."
The Mets oversaw an unprecedented drop in payroll over the past two calendar years, falling from $142 million on Opening Day 2011 to $94.5 million last season. This year's player budget figures to clock in somewhere around $95 million, though principal owner Fred Wilpon recently said he has given Alderson carte blanche to increase payroll if he sees fit.
That should please Weiner, the union and player agents throughout baseball, many of whom viewed David Wright's recent eight-year, $138-million contract as a positive step for the Mets.
"David is the face of the New York Mets and David made a decision, and it's what the Basic Agreement is there for," Weiner said. "David understood that if he went out to market, he'd probably make more money -- and perhaps substantially more money. So yes, I think it's a good thing from a competitive basis that David is an anchor of the New York Mets for the future."