Alderson clarifies 2011-12 payroll

Sandy Alderson said earlier this week that just because roughly $55 million will come off the payroll next offseason, he does not envision reinvesting that entire amount during the 2011-12 offseason.

That seemed to indicate that while the Mets would spend next winter, the payroll might be headed downward from this year's $135 million or so to, say, $120 million in 2012.

Alderson's justification was that he wanted to maintain flexibility for future offseasons as well, and did not want to hamstring the Mets payroll-wise again for future offseasons, like they are now.

Of course, that left out the possibilityof Alderson keeping the payroll at $135 million in 2012 by investing next offseason in one-year deals that did not restrict the Mets for the 2012-13 offseason and beyond.

Well, Alderson clarified his remark Thursday to account for that fact.

“I didn’t mean to exclude that,” Alderson said about keeping the payroll at $135 million in 2012 by investing in one-year deals. “If you invest it all in one-year deals, you maintain that flexibility from year to year. I totally agree that’s a possibility. When I talk about flexibility, I don’t use that interchangeably with reduction.”