The Mets may experience the largest payroll decline in baseball history

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This is fun. From Adam Rubin of ESPN New York:

After general manager Sandy Alderson revealed the organization lost $70 million last year, the Mets appear poised to have the biggest one-year payroll drop in MLB history — roughly $52 million. That would surpass the former record: $48.4 million by the Texas Rangers from 2003 to 2004, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

On the one hand: depressing!  Big market + new ballpark + their own sports network should = big payrolls. On the other hand: they’ve had big payrolls for years, and they haven’t broken 80 wins since 2008.

The team is gonna be fairly bad this year no matter what. It may be kind of embarrassing for the league and for some fans that a New York team is slashing payroll so dramatically. But it’s probably better to be cheap and terrible than expensive and terrible, no?

Rays’ Díaz gets $24 million, three-year deal, avoids arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract on Tuesday that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.