Pitchers and catchers will report this week and the New York Mets may or may not still be working on their $57 million renovation of Clover Park. The Mets' spring training home is getting a very pricey upgrade that the club committed to in 2016, back when they seemed like a franchise poised to compete for years to come.
Anyone who watches any home renovation shows knows that for $57 million, HGTV could rehab a small town, so where the heck did the Mets put $57 million? It certainly wasn't all rugs, wall treatments of David Wright's face, and folding chairs with extra padding. Is there so little money flowing through Major League Baseball right now that the Boston Red Sox have to trade Mookie Betts, or so much that the Mets are justified in spending $57 million for something they'll only use 6 weeks a year because the St. Lucie Mets will be using a less glamorous locker room as a reminder that, "The major league clubhouse is your goal,"?
The Mets currently have the eighth-highest payroll in baseball heading into the 2020 season. Up just two spots and about $16 million from 2016, which was also the last time they made the playoffs. Now that they have the cushiest chairs in all of the Cactus League, maybe they can attract a free agent.
Or maybe they're just hurt. The last time they landed a marquee player, they traded for Yoenis Cespedes and made the World Series. Since then, Cespedes has signed two deals with the club. He started showing up to Spring Training in funny cars and they've gone 0-1 in the postseason since, while Cespedes has appeared in just 119 games since that playoff game. You can understand why the Mets would only want to spend on something that will never miss games.