Multiple media reports today are covering some comments that former Mets GM Jim Duquette made on Sirius XM Radio. Duquette says that the Mets canceled their fall instructional league to save roughly $300,00. That’s the cost of running the league and housing and feeding the players and coaches.
Duquette says it’s a big mistake to reduce costs by cutting instructional time for the team’s young players. Of course, this adds credibility to the stories that we’ve heard about Fred Wilpon experiencing serious financial problems. So serious are those problems that it’s reported that he may be forced to sell the Mets next year.
Besides the obvious concern about the financial condition of the Mets, there have been serious questions about the quality of players that the Mets are developing. The Mets spent the least money of any team in Major League Baseball on their high draft picks this season. And Jeff Wilpon recently went to Buffalo and Binghamton to apologize to fans for fielding teams that weren’t even close to competitive this season.
The writing will be on the wall in the off-season if the Mets reduce the payroll from their current $140 million. That will be the tell-tale sign of financial trouble for the owner. In a brand new stadium, with new sources of revenue, there’s no reason to cut payroll. Until the free agency period gets going in a few months we’re left to speculate and have plenty of reason to be concerned.