Steve Cohen is more than an owner willing to spend. In his year and a half owning the New York Mets, he has been cautious about not overspending to the point of ridiculousness. They have held back from completely obliterating the rest of the league’s payroll.
Although they’ve held back, the Mets should now be considered a team to consistently be well over the luxury tax and at or near the top of all major league teams in terms of dollars paid to their players. This summer will be no exception as they likely inch closer to the $300 million mark.
Without free agency available for major deals outside of the organization, Cohen can flex his financial might in different ways.
1) Mets owner Steve Cohen can flex his financial might by taking on a bad contract in a trade
It’s not all that mighty to trade for a good player with a high salary. There really aren’t any of those guys available this summer anyway or at least good enough to get shopped around. There will, however, be plenty of bad contracts on the books teams would willingly trade away to get out from under the payroll. This is where the Mets come in.
A benefit to having such a wealthy owner is the ability to get trades done in a different way. Taking on a bad contract to help lower the price of another player is something the Mets should be looking to do. These kinds of trades to happen as much as we think they do in baseball but they do occur.
The Mets aren’t necessarily in the position to make a trade like the one the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers pulled off a few years ago when Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Adrian Gonzalez were dumped off. Deals like that require some special circumstances. Frankly, the Mets don’t even have enough room on their roster to add three high-priced veterans. Financially, they probably would if they believed it would help them win.
One bad contract is a little more realistic. Cohen would give the green light in a second to Billy Eppler to execute a trade that brings the Mets a major player paired with a bad player. He’s all in this year no matter what the price is.