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The Mets aren't done yet! And don't blame Steve Cohen for trying to win, either
The Mets could look at both trades and free agency to fill their remaining roster needs
What’s Up with the Mets? 🍎
The Mets reportedly signed RHP Kodai Senga to a five-year, $75 million contract with a player opt-out after the 2025 season (story)
The Mets made their new, eight-year contract with Brandon Nimmo official on Saturday (official release)
The Mets are likely to pursue additional bullpen options and outfield depth, but are unlikely to pursue a reunion with Michael Conforto (New York Post)
Before Nimmo re-signed with the Mets, he entertained an offer from the Giants (New York Post)
The Giants - who are in need of starting pitching - are not currently pursuing Chris Bassitt (SF Chronicle)
Don’t blame Steve Cohen for wanting to win ✍🏻
Mets fans of a certain age grew up watching the crosstown rivals grab all the coveted free agents by outspending almost all of the other teams in baseball. The accusation was that they bought their World Series wins by spending big in free agency. The “Evil Empire” bullied the small market teams who could never compete with the offers the Yankees were making.
Once upon a time, the Marlins were inspired by the Yankees and they went on a free agent spending spree before winning the World Series….and tearing it all upon that very same winter.
Fast forward a couple decades, and as strange as it sounds, it is now the Mets who are acting like the Yankees teams of the 1990s and early 2000s, and the same accusations remain, only now it’s them.
However, revenues have greatly increased since then and the number of teams who even try to field a competitive team seems to shrink every year citing financial concerns.
That’s just utterly laughable.
Every owner of every team can afford every single free agent. It’s that simple. They’re all multi-billionaires in a multi-billionaire club in Major League Baseball with their own private jets and their big mansions (multiples at that I’m sure in many cases) to hideaway in. Spending is a choice in Major League Baseball.
As for the Mets owner, Steve Cohen paying what the market dictates does not make him the villain. All those who passed are. All those who knowingly trade away stars before they get too expensive are. They’re shaming the same people who continue to make them rich, those who come to the ballpark and endlessly and shamelessly root for a club they know has no chance year after year, after year after year.
Major League Baseball was expected to reach $11 billion in revenue in 2022 - that which is very close to pre-pandemic levels, for what it’s worth - with millions coming in from streaming deals and even more now as the final influx of cash (at least $30 million for each owner) is being handed out following the completion of the acquisition of BAMTech, which was the spun-off company of MLB.com, a company which has netted the industry (ahem, the owners) billions which would not have happened if Bud Selig hadn’t been able to convince every owner to fork over $1 million in 2000.
Uniform advertisements are coming soon with both the Padres and Red Sox reaching deals with companies. Nike paid $1 billion to get the swoosh added to uniforms in 2019. That is to say nothing about the owners themselves. Again, they are all insanely wealthy individuals, many of whom are billionaires. A concept of what a billion dollars looks like can be completely foreign to a lay person because it is almost beyond comprehension.
The easiest way to understand the difference between a million and a billion is if it was converted to time. A million seconds is 12 days. A billion seconds is 31 years. The gap between the two is massive.
For someone like Steve Cohen who is worth $16 billion, these contracts are in a word, affordable. He once bought a sculpture of a rabbit for $91 million. He dropped another $141.3 million on a different sculpture. He paid more for these pieces of art than Justin Verlander or Kodai Senga. That kind of wealth is obscene. And yes, not every owner is up to level of wealth but they have no right to claim poverty either.
In other words, there are no poor clubs out there in this industry.
Lawrence J. Dolan, the owner of the Cleveland Guardians is worth $4.6 billion and the fourth wealthiest owner in baseball, yet their payroll was 27th in the majors. Yes, they had a successful season and have proven they can win with the formula they’ve employed, but imagine how much better they could have been if they spent on just a couple more free agents, or were able to retain some of their stars through their prime.
If only a few teams in the sport are willing to heavily invest in the talent, why shouldn’t Steve Cohen take advantage? He promised the fanbase a World Series in a 3-5 year window for a team that hasn’t won in 36 years. Not only that the city of New York has not won a championship, aside from soccer, in a decade since the New York Football Giants won the Super Bowl in 2012.
So let Steve Cohen collect free agents like Thanos collecting Infinity Stones. It’s not our money. Sign Verlander. Sign Senga. Hell sign Carlos Correa and when Ohtani is a free agent, sign him too.
As Jacob deGrom so helpfully reminded us baseball is nothing but a business where there is plenty of cash flow. As the consumers we should demand a better product and Cohen is at least trying to provide that. It’s on the rest of the owners to catch up.
If they don’t, that’s on them and also not the Mets and Cohen’s problem.
Stories to read 🔗
Hot Stove 🔥
The Giants signed Sean Manaea to a two-year, $25 million contract (New York Post)
Kevin Kiermaier agreed to a contract with the Blue Jays (SportsNet)
Xander Bogaerts’ decision to leave the Red Sox will not impact Rafael Devers and his free agency choices (Mass Live)
The Cardinals have begun a pursuit of Carlos Rodón (New York Post)
The Cubs are showing interest in Trey Mancini (670 The Score)
The Padres are still looking for a starting pitcher and a bat (New York Post)
The Red Sox are not prioritizing a reunion with Nathan Eovaldi to fill out their rotation (WEEI)
Bonuses to pre-arbitration eligible players were dispersed to players this past weekend - White Sox RHP Dylan Cease took home $2.5 million, the most among eligible recipients (ESPN)