Further, thanks to the strange economics of baseball-under which a player earns little more than the league minimum for his first three years and then enters a controlled arbitration process that limits raises for three years after that-the Mets’ quartet of great young hurlers will never be less expensive than they are now.
Because the New York Mets’ owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, are drowning in debt.
Selig’s successor, Rob Manfred, has so far been unwilling to do anything about the arrangement either, noting recently that MLB teams ought to spend commensurate with their marketplace, but calling the fact that the Kansas City Royals have a higher payroll than the Mets a “Fun fact.” Kansas City has a population one-fifteenth the size of New York City’s.
Per Forbes revenue estimates, the Mets were 27th out of 30 MLB teams in percentage of revenue spent on payroll last season.
The acting public face of the Mets, John Ricco, “Doesn’t even know what the payroll is,” as one reporter familiar with the team put it.
So the Mets have been blessed with a once in a generation baseball opportunity while being cursed by the ownership of Wilpon and Katz, multiple-time victims of Ponzi schemes.