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Will the Mets stay under the luxury tax threshold with Steve Cohen?

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 11: New York Mets batting helmets in their dugout before a spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Clover Park at on March 11, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 11: New York Mets batting helmets in their dugout before a spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Clover Park at on March 11, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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Now that Marcus Stroman accepted his qualifying offer, how could the New York Mets fill out the rest of their roster?

The first domino of the new New York Mets era fell on Wednesday after Marcus Stroman accepted the $18.9M qualifying offer the team extended him. A surprise to many across the league, Stroman opted to stay in New York rather than test a rather decrepit market for free agents. The first of what is presumed to be a bevy of moves for the new regime, the Mets answered one of the glaring questions about their rotation heading into next season.

There’s still work to be done, however, and based on what new team owner Steve Cohen said in his first press conference, it doesn’t sound as though the Mets will be blowing passed the luxury tax. So what does that mean then for the rest of the winter? New York is expected to be aggressive in both free agency and via trade, but how should the Mets fill out the rest of the rotation, while also finding an answer for the bullpen, centerfield and behind the plate, while also staying under the luxury tax?

Despite Cohen’s comment about not spending like “drunken sailors”, there’s nothing to indicate that the Mets are vehemently against going above the luxury tax. Considering that Cohen’s plans are to spend like a big market team and the Red Sox, Yankees & Cubs all were over the luxury tax in 2019, the Mets could very well find themselves over that threshold. However, for the sake of argument, consider how the Mets could construct the rest of their roster without going over the $210M luxury tax in 2021.

Based on the latest projections, the Mets have a payroll of about $162M, which would leave them with about roughly $48M to add this offseason without going over the luxury tax. Again, this isn’t to say the Mets will stay below that threshold, but rather, examining what it would look like to fill the remaining needs if they hypothetically wanted to stay under $210M.

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