Infamous Jeff Wilpon quote about $30 million players turns 4 today

Miami Marlins v New York Mets
Miami Marlins v New York Mets / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

It was on January 24, 2019, when former New York Mets owner Jeff Wilpon laid out the excuse as to why the team would not be pursuing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado in free agency.

At the time, the Mets already had $30 million player Yoenis Cespedes on the roster. It was only about two months later when they’d extend Jacob deGrom, making him a second one. However, this extension didn’t begin until the 2020 season and wouldn’t top $30 million until 2021.

The quote from Wilpon was outward frugality. Four years later, it has aged much worse than anticipated even within the organization.

The Mets now have three $30 million players

Four years later, the Mets have a trio of $30+ million players. The short-term, high AAV deals for Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander are over $40 million. Francisco Lindor’s lengthy deal is more in-line with what Wilpon was thinking back in 2019 when his team didn’t even consider Harper or Machado.

Four years is enough time for salaries to increase around the league. A big market team like the Mets would have inevitably had to add a second $30 million player in order to compete. Who knew it would be this soon and include a pair of pitchers making over $40 million per season?

Steve Cohen has changed things for the better in Flushing. The spending he does isn’t even outdating the Wilpon quote too extensively. Spreading the wealth around with a couple of $20 million players here, a $15 million guy there, and a $10 million reliever instead of a lesser guy is what has made this organization the biggest spender of all.

There are now 17 players in the sport with an AAV over $30 million. Three happen to play for the Mets. We can safely assume that if the ownership never changed, the mentality of Jeff Wilpon wouldn’t have either.

Happy four-year anniversary!

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