Bank-imposed cap? Mets decline comment

In the wake of a published report that alleged banks had imposed a payroll cap on the club as part of the terms of the team's loans, a Mets official told ESPNNewYork.com on Monday that the club would have no comment.

The Post reported last week that the Mets' soon-to-be-refinanced $250 million loan lifts those bank-imposed player payroll restrictions.

The Mets' payroll for the upcoming season is roughly $87 million at this point. Team officials had offered Grant Balfour a comparable deal to the two-year, $12 million offer he accepted from the Tampa Bay Rays, so clearly there has been some flexibility in where the payroll can go.

Similarly, the Mets flirted with Michael Bourn late last offseason on a four-year deal. So it is unclear whether the Mets, because of cash-flow limitations, have kept the payroll below the reported bank-imposed mandate anyway -- or whether they had reached some threshold and were prevented from spending by banks.