Winning should always be the top priority of any Major League Baseball franchise other than perhaps maintaining some integrity. Selling your soul for a championship seems shortsighted. Fortunately, the New York Mets don’t need to do such a thing to prove to the fans they’re serious about winning in 2022.
In fact, it only takes one directive for them to show everyone how much they want to win. It’s not up to the players either. This comes straight from ownership.
The Mets can show the fans they’re serious about winning by going over the luxury tax threshold
What good is money sitting in a bank? I mean, you can get some safety and security from it. You never know when your boiler will break. And if you have it in a high-yield interest account, you can earn a couple of extra bucks by parking it there.
But we’re talking about millions and billions of dollars. That’s how much is involved whenever talking about the financial situation of the Mets. Owned by Steve Cohen, the richest owner in the sport, it’s time the Mets put that money to action.
The luxury tax threshold isn’t quite a salary cap but more of a minor penalty for trying to buy your way to victory. Teams can wiggle around the harshest of penalties by jumping below it every so often. With a new collective bargaining agreement on the way this winter (without any hiccups) there is room for some minor changes, however, I suspect the principles will stay the same.
According to Spotrac, the Mets actually had the third-highest payroll in 2021 at $199,289,189. Only the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees were higher. This does include $8+ million in the retained category and another $12+ million claimed as buried.
Nevertheless, they spent money last year and far more than many other teams.
All combined, the Mets had about $7.8 million worth of room left beneath the $210 million luxury tax. One single $8 million player or a couple of $3 million ones wouldn’t have made a difference in 2021. In 2022, it could be a whole different story.
During the era of the Wilpons, the luxury tax was a four-letter word. Nobody ever expected them to exceed it. And while they did hand out some large contracts, they never seemed to strike that final move to ensure winning.
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The Mets now have the bankroll and outspoken owner to make it all happen. We just need Cohen to give his front office the thumbs up to make it happen. Otherwise, we could be looking at another season without Mets playoff baseball.