Blog Update

New York Mets Paying Players Not On Team

By Roshan Khatiwada / 13 August 2023 04:18 AM

Justin Verlander was traded to his former team Houston Astros before the trade deadline of the 2023 MLB season
Source : instagram

Mets paying players not on team include Robinson Cano, James McCann, and Eduardo Escobar. The franchise reportedly has to pay about $50 million in total.

The team playing in the East Division of the National League is among the charter clubs in the major league. They were established in 1962 and play their home games at Citi Field.

Billy Eppler is the general manager of the franchise, whereas Buck Showalter is the manager. Eppler has been with the franchise since 2021, and Showalter joined the club the following season.

New York Mets have won six Division titles, five National League pennants, and two World Series titles. They last won the World Series in 1986, defeating the Boston Red Sox in seven games.

They are fourth in the NL East Division with a record of 51-62, twenty-one games behind the league leaders Atlanta Braves.

Mets Player Still Being Paid

Mets player still being paid include eight players, including Robinson Kano, Bobby Bonilla, and Darin Ruf. Robinson is set to receive the most money.

These all resulted from bad business during a trade or deferred payments. Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander were traded recently, and both those contracts included the Mets paying a major amount of the player's salary.

On the other hand, Bobby Bonilla and Bret Saberhagen resulted from the club agreeing on deferred payment. Bonilla will earn the money till 2035, whereas Saberhagen till 2029.

Here is the list of the players the Mets have to pay for the 2023 season even though they are not on the team anymore:

  1. Max Scherzer - $4.67 million
  2. Justin Verlander - $18 million
  3. Robinson Cano - $20.25 million
  4. James McCann - $11 million
  5. Eduardo Escobar - $9.1 million
  6. Chris Flexen - $4 million
  7. Darin Ruf - $3.3 million
  8. Bobby Bonilla - $1.2 million
  9. Tommy Hunter - $686,000
  10. Bret Saberhagen - $250,000

1. Max Scherzer - $4.67 million

The Mets traded their starting pitcher Max Scherzer to the Texas Rangers before the 2023 trade deadline. However, the team from New York will be paying $4.67 million to the player as a salary for 2023.

Max Scherzer pitching for his new team Texas Rangers after getting traded from the Mets
Source : instagram

Further, the Mets are responsible for the $30.8 million of the player's 2024 salary. The franchise traded Scherzer, Michael Conforto, and James McCann to the Rangers and got Luisangel Acuna in return.

Max signed a three-year $130 million contract in 2022 with the Mets.

2. Justin Verlander - $18 million

Verlander signed a two-year $86.6 million contract with the Mets in 2022. The deal included a $35 million vesting option for the 2025 season.

However, the club traded the veteran pitcher to the Astros for Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford. The Mets also agreed to pay a chunk of the player's salary through the 2024 season.

They must pay $35 million of the player's salary for the next two seasons. In addition, the Mets will have to pay half of the vesting option in 2025 if Justin pitches 140 innings in 2024 while remaining at Houston.

3. Robinson Cano - $20.25 million

The New York franchise has to pay $24 million to Cano. It is the final payment of the 10-year $216 million deal he signed with the Mariners as a free agent.

Cano was released by the team in 2022 with $45 million remaining to be paid in his contract. They paid $21 million last season and are set to pay the final installment this season.

Robinson was traded to New York from Seattle in 2018 along with Edwin Diaz and $20 million in exchange for Anthony Swarzak, Jay Bruce, Justin Dunn, Gerson Bautista, and Jarred Kelenic.

4. James McCann - $11 million

McCann signed a four-year $40 million deal with the New York Mets in 2020. However, after only two seasons in which he could not fulfill his potential because of injuries, he was traded to the Orioles.

James McCann taking the field at Camden Yard for the first time after joining Baltimore Orioles
Source : instagram

The catcher played in 112 games for the franchise during his first season, scoring ten dingers and 46 RBIs at an average of .232.

The Mets paid $11 million of James' salary this season and are responsible for the $8 million salary with the Orioles next season. The New York-based club received Luis De La Cruz in exchange for McCann.

5. Eduardo Escobar - $9.1 million

Escobar signed a two-year $20 million contract with the Mets in December 2021. An All-Star in 2021 with the Diamondbacks, the switch-hitter could not showcase his talent in New York.

The player was traded to the Angels this season in exchange for two minor-league pitchers. Escobar is to be paid $9.4 million as salary for the rest of the major league season, with the Mets covering all of that amount.

The player's contract also includes a $9 million club option with a buyout of $500,000 for the 2024 season.

6. Chris Flexen - $4 million

Flexen was released by the Mets in July 2023. The player was designated for assignment by Seattle Mariners one week before trading the player to New York.

The Mets took on the player and his contract to acquire Trevor Gott from the Mariners. The Mets then designated the player for assignment and released him shortly after.

The player makes $8 million annually, and the Mets are responsible for paying half that amount for the 2023 season.

7. Darin Ruf - $3.3 million

Ruf signed a two-year deal with the Giants that saw him get $3 million for each of the 2022 and 2023 seasons. The contract also included a $3.5 option for 2024 with a buyout of $250,000.

Darin Ruf at the ballpark in South Korea with his family on his birthday
Source : instagram

After the struggle of the side in MLB, the Giants flipped Ruf to the Mets in exchange for J.D Davis, Thomas Szapucki, and some prospects. The player could not perform as expected in New York.

The Mets, who were looking to trade the player or get him claimed on waivers, could not find a suitor forcing them to release the player. He is owed a $3 million salary this year and a $250,000 buyout on next season's option.

8. Bobby Bonilla - $1.2 million

Bonilla is owned $1.2 million from the Mets every year on July 1 till the 2035 season. This results from a deferred contract agreed by the player and the team.

Bobby is a former baseball third baseman and outfielder who played for eight teams in his sixteen-year career. The player signed with the Mets for the first time during the 1991-92 offseason, becoming the highest earner in the league during that time.

The baseman retired after the 2001 MLB season but is still paid annually by the Mets

9. Tommy Hunter - $686,000

The Mets owe Hunter $686,000 for the 2023 season. The player resigned a minor league contract with the Mets on December 6, 2022, and was selected to the 40-man roster a few months later.

Tommy made fourteen appearances for the club, struggling with an ERA of 6.85. He was designated for assignment on June 10 and was released three days later.

10. Bret Saberhagen - $250,000

Saberhagen signed with the Mets in 1992, making him the seventh-highest-paid pitcher in the league. The contract also included a $2.5 million signing bonus.

However, something unusual was also included in the contract mentioning that the player would receive $250,000 per year for 25 years, starting in 2004. The Mets have been paying the deferred payment ever since.

Bobby Bonilla Deferred Contract

Bobby Bonilla contract with Mets during the 1991 season was a five-year $29 million deal. It was the richest contract in team sports at that time.

The player spent three and a half seasons in New York and was traded to the Orioles. The player went on to play for the Marlins, where he won the World Series in 1997, and the Dodgers before rejoining the Mets in 1999.

Bonilla could not produce much during the season and was released in January 2000. However, the franchise still owed the player $5.9 million for the season.

Bobby will earn $1.2 million annually from 2011 to 2035 as deferred salary from when he played for the Mets in 1999
Source : facebook

Instead of paying the amount, the Mets ownership agreed to defer the wages of the player with an interest of 8% per annum and spread across twenty-five years starting from the 2011 season.

The $5.9 million salary swelled to $29.8 million from 2000-11 because of the interest. That amount divided by twenty-five equals $1.2 million, paid annually to the player on July 1.

New York Mets Bobby Bonilla contract is one of the most talked about and famous deferred contracts in the major league. Mets fan call July 1 Bobby Bonilla Day, remembering the player on the day when he is paid his deferred salary.

Mets Payroll By Year

Mets payroll by year 2023 is $348,830,871, including the payment for buried, suspended, and retained players. This is the highest among the thirty teams in MLB.

The annual payroll for the New York team has been increasing annually. Their payroll for the 2023 MLB season exceeds the salary cap of $233 million.

Max Scherzer, who was with the Mets before the trade deadline, was the highest-paid player in the league. His salary for the 2023 campaign is $58.33 million.

Mets payroll after trades is $349,868,269. The amount has not decreased despite trading two of the highest-earners in the club, as in both those deals, the Mets have agreed to pay most of the salaries for the players.

Here is the Mets payroll for the last five years:


Note: The 2020 season was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and had to be shortened, resulting in a comparatively low payroll for the team.

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