The New York Mets are expected to be one of the biggest spenders this winter while other teams look to cut costs.
The pandemic-shortened 2020 MLB season impacted all 30 organizations financially. Fewer games and zero fans in the stands meant a lot less cash flow. We’re going to see the ramifications of this during the offseason as free agents look for new contracts. One of the few teams that won’t be hit as hard as others are the New York Mets.
There’s a simple reason for this. His name is Steve Cohen.
Stop me if you’ve heard this; Steve Cohen is coming to save the Mets from the Wilpons. I’m sure you have. The baseball world is abuzz in anticipation. Will Cohen finally make the Mets great again?
There’s little doubt things will be better under a Cohen regime than it was during the Wilpon era. He will be the richest owner by a few billion dollars. While this doesn’t guarantee a championship or mean he’ll pay out of the nose for talent, it definitely helps the case.
Unlike the other 29 franchises that had owners lose money in 2020, the Mets are transitioning at the perfect time. Even if the organization is deeply in debt, everyone expects Cohen to spend money this offseason.
For Mets fans hoping to be relevant again, there couldn’t be better news to digest.
One part of me believes the Mets can wait another offseason to spend big on free agents, sign current players to extensions, and do all of the other housekeeping necessary to build a successful franchise. Another sees this opportunity. The Mets won’t be bidding against nearly as many franchises this offseason. While we should expect some players to still get massive paydays, others may sign something a little more affordable.
As others are cutting payroll, the Mets should be looking to increase it. They already have a few million to replace from the upcoming free agents of their own. Add in the space between their payroll and the luxury tax—which they could very well go over—and this winter could be a frenzy for the orange and blue.
Not all of Cohen’s billions will go toward signing the best players possible. Other areas need to be addressed as well.
Cohen is already planning to bolster the analytics department. We should expect similar upgrades to scouting and other behind-the-scenes areas. Perhaps we see him do the unthinkable and pay coaches, general managers, etc. more.
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Anyone that has ever stepped foot in Citi Field and rooted for the home team is eager to see the Cohen regime begin. This winter, as other teams scurry to make cost-cutting decisions, the Mets should be one of the few to do the complete opposite.