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Alderson: Mets are investing in team

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

NEW YORK -- Mets general manager Sandy Alderson bristled Thursday at the notion that the Mets, fresh off their first postseason appearance in nine years, are not spending aggressively enough on players.

"Our payroll at the end of 2014 was $85 million, $86 million all-in," Alderson said. "I would suspect this year we'll end up at $115 million or so, or maybe higher than that, $120 million. That's a $35 million increase in just two years. So the idea that we're not investing in the team, I think, is really misplaced, and sort of tied up in the populism involving [Yoenis] Cespedes."

NEW YORK -- Mets general manager Sandy Alderson bristled Thursday at the notion that the Mets, fresh off their first postseason appearance in nine years, are not spending aggressively enough on players.

"Our payroll at the end of 2014 was $85 million, $86 million all-in," Alderson said. "I would suspect this year we'll end up at $115 million or so, or maybe higher than that, $120 million. That's a $35 million increase in just two years. So the idea that we're not investing in the team, I think, is really misplaced, and sort of tied up in the populism involving [Yoenis] Cespedes."

"Populism involving Cespedes" is a reference to the legions of Mets fans clamoring for a long-term deal with the outfielder, whose asking price once stood well over $100 million. The Mets haven't showed much interest in Cespedes, preferring to improve their lineup through a series of smaller moves: the acquisitions of infielders Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera, and outfielder Alejandro De Aza.

Hot Stove Tracker

Using MLBTradeRumors.com projections to estimate the salaries of nine arbitration-eligible players, including Walker, the Mets' payroll currently stands at around $106 million. Adding a right-handed-hitting outfielder should push that figure above $110 million, not including the additional players needed to fill out a roster over the course of the summer. That means the Mets are unlikely to add much else to their team this winter, with Alderson going as far as to downplay the notion his club might sign another veteran reliever.

Alderson understands that's not a popular stance, particularly regarding Cespedes. But he isn't about to change it.

"We know that Cespedes was instrumental to us getting to the postseason," Alderson said. "We know Daniel Murphy was instrumental in us getting to the World Series. But I think along the way, we learned a few things about ourselves, about the team, and I think the way we approached the offseason, we put some of those lessons into play. It's not as if we're not looking to improve the team -- and if possible, in significant ways. But it has to make some sense in terms of how these pieces all fit.

"For two months or three months, it may make sense. For five years or six years, it doesn't make a lot of sense."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

New York Mets