Steve Cohen has spent money like no owner has before. He allowed the New York Mets to enter the 2023 season with a record-setting payroll only to watch his team finish with a 75-87 record and embarrassingly miss out on the playoffs.
From the moment the season ended, it was abundantly clear that this offseason was going to be different. The Mets would not be spending like drunken sailors. They'd have a more measured approach to try and build a sustainable winner. Outside of a failed Yoshinobu Yamamoto pursuit, Cohen and David Stearns have stuck to their plan. They're looking to sign players to short-term deals and are looking to play their young players fairly regularly to see what they have.
For the first time in Cohen's tenure as owner, there appeared to have been a limit. SNY's Andy Martino reported that the Mets had nearly $10 million to spend and were focused on adding relief pitching. While the focus on relievers has been proven to be true, the Mets having a limit in place at that number has not.
The Mets have already spent over the $10 million Andy Martino imposed limit
When the Mets chose to bring Adam Ottavino back on a one-year deal worth just $4.5, it felt like the rumors of the $10 million limit were correct. The Mets could've signed better relievers like Matt Moore and Hector Neris for the same one-year commitment but more money, yet chose to settle on the less-reliable Ottavino.
Since signing Ottavino, the Mets signed a pair of relievers, Shintaro Fujinami and Jake Diekman, to one-year deals. Both of those additions are solid and certainly make the Mets better, but didn't come super cheap. Fujinami is making $3.35 million for the 2024 season, and Diekman signed for around $4 million. Adding up those three contracts means the Mets have already spent more than $10 million.
What this shows is that the Mets don't really have limits with Steve Cohen in charge. If they find opportunity, they're going to pursue said opportunity. Perhaps if we see a drop-off in the DH market with players like J.D. Martinez or Jorge Soler the Mets can spend even more money and sign one of them.
In the future, any limit reported by a member of the media and not Steve Cohen himself should be safely disregarded. There's always the potential for him to approve a signing that makes the Mets better. That's just one of many reasons why Mets fans are so fortunate to have him.