This article is part of our MLB Team Previews series.
After a poor start left the Mets with a 5-13 record on April 20, New York went 50-38 and was 55-51 on July 29. However, that's when the bottom dropped out - trades, injuries and some apathy set in as the Mets won just 22 of their final 56 games to wind up 77-85 and finish with a losing record for the third year in a row. Heading into 2012, finances are the main focus with the Mets. The team's payroll, set to drop from $145 million to possibly below $100 million, is on the docket and drives most of the moves made by GM Sandy Alderson and his staff. Given how the strong the rest of NL East is, look for the Mets to finish last in the division and be lucky to win 70 games.
Did not offer a contract to or allowed the following to become free agents: Jose Reyes, Willie Harris, Chris Capuano, Luis Hernandez, Ryota Igarashi, Dale Thayer, Jason Pridie, Nick Evans, Taylor Buchholz, Ronny Paulino, Pat Misch, Jason Isringhausen and Fernando Martinez.
The Mets wanted to bring back Reyes, but financial constraints and concerns over his injury history prevent the team from competing with the six-year, $106 million deal he signed with the Marlins. Capuano had a solid season in New York but priced himself out of the Mets' budget and signed a two-year, $10 million deal with the Dodgers.