With Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen making roster depth moves over the weekend, it looked as if he was done making the big splashes this offseason.
But that was before news broke that the Mets and former 3B David Wright reached a contract restructure after he moved into the role of special advisor to Van Wagenen and COO Jeff Wilpon on Monday.
According to The Post's Ken Davidoff, the Mets won't be paying Wright's $15 million salary in 2019. Instead, they will pay him $9 million over the course of the year, with a lump sum of $4 million coming on Thursday and the rest of the money dispersed throughout the season.
As for the remaining $6 million, Davidoff writes it "will be deferred with 2.5 percent interest, compounded monthly, with annual $2 million payments coming each July 1 from 2021 through 2023 and the interest paid out on Dec. 31, 2023."
So does this mean Van Wagenen has some more money to work with? Well, it's a little complicated.
First, the Mets do have $6 million saved after the restructure -- that we know. However, how much money the Mets get from Wright's insurance policy is a big unknown, let alone when they will actually receive that money.
If the Mets didn't make the deal with Wright, they would have had to pay out about $10.4 million of the $27 million remaining on his contract he signed back in 2012. It would have been a $7.4 million payout this year and $3 million next year, and the insurance company would pay back roughly $16.6 million over those two years.
But, now that the deal is restructured, we can't know for sure how much the Mets will receive from the insurance policy. Davidoff gives it a "guesstimate" of $12 million.
Second, we also have to account for Yoenis Cespedes and his insurance policy the Mets will collect on this season as well. Wilpon noted Cespedes' policy is "a little bit less than David's percentage, but the fact is there's money coming back on that, at least for the first half of the season." So, the Mets could potentially get back about $7 million of Cespedes' $29 million this season if he returns by the All-Star break as intended.
So, Davidoff's guess is that after combining the money saved in Wright's restructure ($5 million following $1 million in payout on Thursday), the estimations of his insurance policy ($9 million for 2019 and $3 million for 2020), and the addition of Cespedes' insurance estimate ($7 million), the Mets could see about $21 million extra money for next season.
Now, not all of that money will go to the team's payroll, which is projected at $150 million this season. But Wilpon noted at the Robinson Cano-Edwin Diaz presser last month "some of that will go back to payroll," when explaining Wright's insurance policy.
Does that mean the Mets could sign someone like A.J. Pollock? Or could they get even greedier and enter the Bryce Harper or Manny Machado sweepstakes?
There's no clear path for Van Wagenen to go, but if the numbers all add up, he should have extra cash to potentially make one more big splash for 2019.