Adam Rubin of ESPN NY. Here are some excerpts from his interview with Sandy that was posted on ESPN Mets Blog..
Sandy Alderson said Monday that the Mets' payroll will be right around $100 million for 2012. He said the Mets have about $20 million to $25 million to spend, but that figure includes arbitration-eligible Mike Pelfrey and Angel Pagan's salaries. Those two should get a combined $10 million, so the Mets really have about $10 million to $15 million to spend on outside acquisitions.
He added about declining payroll: "We'd like to be moving up in the same fashion (as the Marlins), but you know what, at some point we will be. Oh yeah. Absolutely. But, as I said last night, I don't believe the Jose Reyes situation or the reduction in our payroll has anything to do with these external issues like (Bernard) Madoff. I really think it has to do with the fundamentals of the franchise and what it means to be making money, breaking even, losing a little or losing a terrific amount. We need to get back to the point where it's closer to break even.
On remedy with low payroll: "One of things that can often happen -- it doesn't always happen, but it happens from time to time -- and that is you outperform your payroll. And you can see some of the teams in the $50 or $60 (million) range. The Padres a couple of years ago, after I left, they won 90 games. They were right there at the end. The Giants ended up winning the last day. They win the World Series. They outperformed their payroll. And what that does, it almost always generates new revenue. So our job is to outperform our payroll. But, hey, we've got $100 million.
Alderson said the Mets for a few days last week actually thought they might be able to land Reyes on their terms, but the Marlins got ultra-aggressive over the weekend and by Sunday it was again apparent Reyes was departing. "I really think on Friday what we had generally proposed had some appeal," Alderson said. "And by Saturday night it was blown past that. ... There were only a few days there where I let myself, and maybe a few others in the organization let themselves feel, 'Yeah, this could actually happen.' But it was short-lived."
Alderson spoke with Peter Greenberg, the agent for Jose Reyes, on Monday morning. Aside from offering congratulations, the dialog was to set up time to talk about Greenberg's other clients, who include Endy Chavez and Cesar Izturis.
Alderson said he at some point likely will reach out to David Wright, but the GM reiterated there's no motivation to trade him. "I think we've been pretty clear about where that is," Alderson said. "Rightly or wrongly, I never felt that his situation was tied to Jose's. The fact that Jose may have departed doesn't mean, to me, that a call is necessary to say, 'Hey, you're still here,' or, 'You're not going anywhere.' I never assumed there was going to be any change in his status at all."
Alderson went on to assert that three factors make it logical to keep Wright: losing Reyes and him would be an untenable double-whammy in promoting team, moving the fences in should mean a banner year for Wright, and Wright has been a "loyal" spokesman for the organization as well as a talented player.
On Johan Santana returning from shoulder surgery, Alderson said: "Well, we're not expecting him to win the Cy Young. We don't expect him to be favored to win the Cy Young. Certainly we would hope he would have a solid season for us."
On Daniel Murphy as second baseman, Alderson said: "If we have Murphy at second base, is that Nellie Fox or Roberto Alomar in his heyday? No. But Murphy will give you everything he's got and he'll cut and slash."