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Mets COO Jeff Wilpon on payroll: ‘It’s absolutely opened up’

As the Mets look to further reshape their team after landing Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano in a blockbuster trade with the Mariners, it sounds like they’ll have some extra payroll to work with.

“It’s absolutely opened up,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said Tuesday about the payroll heading into the 2019 season. “And Brodie understands the parameters that we’re working within — be it trades and obviously this one is pretty neutral in terms of dollars when you look at what we’re getting back and the salary relief. But also the ability to do other things with some of the insurance money.” 

Wilpon also noted that the Mets had recently non-tendered Wilmer Flores, freeing up even more additional money. 

On a potential injury settlement with David Wright and their insurance company, Wilpon said the sides were talking. 

“Ongoing conversations with them. The biggest thing is — see if we can work something out where he can come off the roster so we save another player potentially.”

“You don’t get it all back at once necessarily,” Wilpon added about the insurance money. “But over time we plan to get that back, and some of that would go back to payroll, certainly.”

Wilpon added that the Mets also have insurance on Yoenis Cespedes, but that it’s “a little bit less than David’s.”

When asked whether expanded payroll could mean a run at the big free agents like Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, Wilpon directed questions to Van Wagenen, who he suggested was exploring all avenues. 

“You gotta ask Brodie that,” Wilpon said. “He’s got his fingers in everything right now. I haven’t seen anyone with this much drive and determination in a long time.”

According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the Mets’ 25-man roster Opening Day payroll in 2018 was $150.5 million after being $154.4 million in 2017.

The Mets’ 2019 25-man roster payroll, accouting for expected raises via arbitration, is currently $135.9 million.

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