The head of baseball’s union has a messsage for the Mets: Act like a big market team.
Major League Baseball Players’ Association executive director Michael Weiner, on his visit to Mets camp, on Thursday challenged the team to increase payroll, saying New York needs a “competitive team.”
“A New York franchise in the National League is one of the flagship franchises in baseball,” Weiner said on Thursday, after his annual spring meeting with Mets players.

“I think everybody would like to see the Mets as a competitive team, and that’s going to require a higher payroll. I trust that the Wilpons and Sandy Alderson, John Ricco, all those people will end up putting together a competitive team shortly.”
Alderson, when told of Weiner’s comments, told The News: “We’re happy that Michael was here today on behalf of the union, but not willing to comment further.”
The team’s payroll will be about $95 million this year, and Mets people insist they are prepared to raise it in the near future. CEO Fred Wilpon said last week that the Mets trimmed payroll in recent years to pay down debt, while also dealing with a clawback lawsuit that was ultimately settled, and a dip in the real estate market. Wilpon pledged that the Mets were ready to spend more.

The team made a move in that direction last winter by signing David Wright to an eight-year, $138 million contract extension.
“David understood that if he went out to market, he would probably make more money, and perhaps substantially more money,” Weiner said. “I think it’s a good thing from a competitive basis that David is an anchor of the New York Mets for the future, but I also think it shows the Basic Agreement working the way it is supposed to work, that David made that choice.”
Weiner questioned the draft-pick compensation rules for free agents under the new collective bargaining agreement. While fewer players are subject to compensation, the ones in that position have found the system draconian. That is because all but the 10 worst teams have to surrender their first-round draft pick to sign a top free agent.

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