Mack Ade - The Mets received their $250mil influx of cash and have paid back their baseball loans. There still is plenty of future bills to pay and the team is operating in the red; however, do you see any chance of exercising David Wright's 2013 portion of his contract or getting back into the free agent market in a big way next off-season?
Jack Flynn - The Mets are already a franchise adrift, one that has alternately embarrassed and alienated its fan base for several years. Attendance numbers will be horrific this year, very bad news for a team more than ever dependent on ticket, concession and parking revenue.
The Mets without David Wright will only further embarrass and alienate the fan base. A big-market team that cannot retain its homegrown stars - especially a big-market team with such an abysmal record of doing so in the last 50 years - is one that is crying out for new leadership and vision.
It may be a moot point, of course. The Wilpon ownership group is not broke by any means, even in the wake of yesterday's settlement with Irving Picard. However, although the family is buying $20 million shares of the team and trying to pass it off as proof that investors are interested in minority ownership shares of the Mets, Fred and Jeff showed an unwillingness to invest their own money in retaining homegrown stars this past off-season.
At the end of the 2012 season, the Wilpons are likely to be deeper in debt, not closer to solvency. Retaining David Wright may be a smart baseball move - but when has Jeff Wilpon ever given anyone the confidence that he can make a smart baseball move?
Brian Berness - I would say a lot depends on how Ike, Duda, and Tejada play. If those kids develop and Duda gives you 25-30 homer and Davis picks up where he left off, there might not be so much urgency to sign David Wright. Especially if he doesn't have a great season. I also think that winter 2012-13 will be a time to incrementally add pieces so look for 2 $8 million players instead of one $16 million.
Jarod Alley - I don't really believe the Mets will start spending at the end of the year or even the year after. Smart money would have them sitting around the same payroll for the next 3 years until they can turn their situation completely around and become a profitable organization again. This is the point everyone seems to be blindly ignoring. Ok, yes they came out of the Madoff trust case in fairly good shape and yes, they sold $250mil worth of the team to pay back debts levied against the team. However, the team is still at a point where they stand to lose money if they are not successful in garnering merchandise sales, season ticket sales, and various other forms of team revenue. Granted they are managing the situation better( more because Sandy is saving them money and putting out a budget team with a few over paid players on it that he inherited). So, in time they will spend again but not until they are a team on the verge of putting a winning team on the field.
Erik Hudson - Can we now afford at least a decent backup catcher? I'm hoping Wright has a bounce back year, and the Mets sign him long term, but I'm not confident they will sign him beyond the option even if he does well.