"Ownership does not have a strong parameter on the payroll," Wilpon said. "This is a different era." Wilpon asserted that the diminished payroll now overseen by General Manager Sandy Alderson it stands at a little over $90 million LUCIE, Fla. Nearly a full year after settling the Madoff lawsuit that hovered over his team's baseball operations, Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon said he envisions the payroll returning to its pre-Madoff heights. As a result, he has given general manager Sandy Alderson free rein to add as much payroll as he sees fit over the coming months and years. In 2012, he was back, disputing the notion that he and Saul Katz, the team’s co-owner, might have to sell the club because of a daunting assortment of financial losses and legal entanglements, some of them stemming from the Mets’ financial links to Madoff. In 2011, he stood at the complex and rebutted accusations that he was willfully blind to the Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Bernard L. Madoff.