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Jeff Wilpon: Mets Owners Expand Budget, Give Alderson 'Some Flexibility'

NEW YORK (WFAN) -- Jason Bay has been bought out and David Wright will remain in New York through 2020.

It hasn't been a home-run offseason, but Mets fans have certainly had some cause to celebrate.

And now some more good news: a special delivery to general manager Sandy Alderson from owners Jeff Wilpon, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz.

"The budget has been expanded," Mets COO Jeff Wilpon told WFAN's Mike Francesa on Wednesday. "We're giving Sandy some more money to work with now that David is done and we did what we did with Jason Bay. He's got some flexibility now to do some things, and we're going to be competitive this year."

Without getting into specific numbers, Wilpon said Alderson knows the parameters, and the owners are keeping some cash in their "back pocket" for flexibility at the trade deadline.

LISTEN: Wilpon talks Wright, budget with Francesa

He insisted the Mets would be "competitive" and toward the "top of the food chain" with their budget.

The Mets settled their lawsuit last year brought by Irving Picard, the trustee representing the victims of Bernie Madoff. The club also received a cash infusion from the sale of multiple minority stakes at $20 million apiece.

"We've been there, we're going to continue to be there," said Wilpon. "I know there was a big drop-off last year. But we're moving up ... this year, and I'm sure next year might move up a little bit more."

Will the Mets make it 3 for 3 and wrap up R.A. Dickey? Wilpon reiterated that the knuckleballer returning on his $5 million option would be a viable option, but the COO took a harder stance than we've heard so far on the possibility of trading Dickey if an extension can't be reached.

"So far he's asking for more than we're willing to commit," said Wilpon. "And we're not offering as much as he's willing to accept. Somewhere in between there's a deal to be done. We'd love to have him back. If not, there's a lot of interest in him in the trade market."

As for his expectations for 2013 and beyond?

"I think we want to be competitive," Wilpon said. "To call us out of the gate a playoff team might be a stretch, but I think we want to be competitive and we want to try and build ourselves into that playoff-contention team. With the extra wild card and everything, it's easier to be done now than it was in the past -- and then certainly build on what we do this year into '14 and moving forward."

In a perfect world, the Mets' budget would be ______. (Be realistic.) Be heard in the comments below!

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