Ken Rosenthal is ready for a fight. IMG: Fox Sports

Beloved reporter Ken Rosenthal unleashed a scathing criticism of Mets payroll and their hierarchy today in an article for the Athletic.

“..the situation is ripe for some team to take advantage of a depressed market, deviate from its original plan and make a bold play for one of the 26-year-old stars. Given the intensity of the offseason competition in the NL East, why not the Mets? We know the answer: The Mets’ owners — CEO Fred Wilpon, president Saul Katz and COO Jeff Wilpon — do not spend in accordance with the team’s market size.”

Given the perception that national writers do not (often enough, at least) directly attack Mets ownership, this is a big step in the right direction. Public pressure in the face of questionable behavior, particularly regarding finances, will attract lots of attention, both from unknowing fans and perhaps MLB itself.

COO Jeff Wilpons response to this article and questioning was… weak. At best.

“I don’t know how many teams have two $30 million players”

Well, to start, division rivals do. The Washington Nationals are off the charts deferring payments to get better players. Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer are 30 million dollar men, and if the Nationals re-sign Harper that’ll make 3. The Mets have Cespedes, who AAV is 27.5 million a year, some of which is going to be covered by insurance. If Wilpon is also talking about 36 year old Robinson Cano, as if he was the reason the Mets did not pursue Harper or Machado, and of whom the Mets received cash from the Mariners.. well that’s just ludicrous.

Even if the Mets do win with this payroll, the issue of not pursuing top free agents is still a criminal offense in the world of baseball. They undoubtedly have the money, and Harper/Machado would simply make them better. And that’s all that can really be said. Spend more, or rob the fans of their shot at a title.