According to USAToday.com, the New York Mets have the 14th-highest payroll in Major League Baseball at $93,353,983, just behind the Minnesota Twins -- yes, the Twins. But the Mets are shelling out big bucks to a few players, including Johan Santana and Jason Bay. So what are they making and do they deserve their salaries? Here's a look at the five highest-paid Mets for 2012.
Frank Francisco (RP) -- Francisco will pocket $5.5 million in 2012. If you look at the going rate for closers -- Jonathan Papelbon and Heath Bell will make $11 million and $6 million this season, respectively -- Francisco's salary isn't unreasonable. Of course, a lights-out closer is worth his weight in gold and so far this season Francisco hasn't exactly been automatic.
Mike Pelfrey (SP) -- Pelfrey's 2012 salary is nearly $5.7 million. Unfortunately, the Mets won't get much return on that investement because he is out for the season with an elbow injury. Pelfrey is eligible for arbitration after this season and is a free agent in 2014, so his days in New York are numbered.
David Wright (3B) -- At this rate, Wright's contract is a baseball bargain this year at $15.2 million (his New York Yankees counterpart, Alex Rodriguez, is making around $30 million). But the Mets' best player won't be "underpaid" for much longer. Wright stands to become a free agent in 2013 (the Mets hold a team option for next season) and is sure to command a hefty raise.
Jason Bay (OF) -- Bay's contract, which pays him about $18.1 million in 2012, has been a drag on the organization since the moment he signed it in 2009. He missed a total of 106 games in his first two seasons and his production has taken a nose-dive. In his five seasons prior to coming to the Mets, Bay averaged 30 home runs and 99 RBI. He'll be lucky to put up half those numbers this year.
Johan Santana (SP) -- Santana, who is scheduled to make around $23 million in 2012, is the highest-paid Met and the second-highest paid player in baseball. He missed all of 2011 recovering from shoulder surgery, but his return to form on the mound this season has inspired the team. Sure, Santana is overpaid, but the no-hitter he tossed on June 1 -- the first in franchise history -- was priceless.
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Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who roots for the New York Mets (and any team that is playing the New York Yankees). An avid fantasy baseball player and fan of Major League Baseball, his games of choice growing up were Strat-O-Matic and MicroLeague Baseball.