When Steve Cohen became the owner of the New York Mets back in 2020, the way the organization spent its money fundamentally changed. The Mets went from an ownership group that was hesitant to spend to one not afraid to open up the checkbook.
The Mets are now in year three of the Cohen era and have the highest payroll in baseball (353 million). Despite all the money spent, the blue and orange are 34-40 and have many players that have not lived up to their contracts.
Three Mets who haven’t lived up to their contract:
After franchise great Jacob DeGrom decided to sign with the Texas Rangers, the Mets decided to pivot and sign future hall of famer Justin Verlander to a two-year contract worth 86.6 million dollars.
Verlander has not entirely lived up to that contract in his first year in Queens. The three-time Cy-Young Award winner started 2023 on the injured list with a low-grade teres major strain and did not debut until May 4th.
Since debuting with the blue and orange, Verlander has pitched 52 innings across nine starts to a 4.50 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
Verlander has had some signature performances, but his inconsistency has left much to be desired especially considering how much he is being paid.
After a disappointing 2021, Carlos Carrasco had a resurgence in 2022 that led to the Mets picking up his one-year 14 million-dollar team option.
In 2023, Carrasco has not lived up to expectations. Through nine starts, Cookie has pitched 44 innings to an abysmal 6.34 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. In addition, Carrasco spent almost a month on the injured list with elbow inflammation.
Carrasco’s massive drop-off in production and high cost have led to his spot on this list.
Unlike the other two pitchers on this list, Edwin Díaz has yet to throw a pitch for the Mets in 2023. The two-time Reliever of the Year tore his right patellar tendon while celebrating a win during the World Baseball Classic effectively ending his 2023 campaign before it even began.
Díaz makes this list because of the contract the 29-year-old just recently signed. In November, Díaz signed a five-year 102 million dollar contract this past offseason, the largest contract in history for a reliever.
While his inability to pitch this season can be chalked up to a freak accident, Díaz can still be viewed as one of the most pivotal Mets that has struggled to live up to his contract.