Mets won’t be afraid to surpass luxury tax threshold, but it may not happen this season

New York Mets

New York Mets‘ fans have enjoyed a more engaged owner ever since Steve Cohen took over the team from the Wilpons. He is constantly interacting with fans via Twitter, answering questions, and talking about what he wants to achieve with the franchise.

This week, Cohen talked to the New York Post’s Steve Serby about the current state of the New York Mets and the spending plans for this season and the foreseeable future.

Major League Baseball established a specific amount of payroll money for all teams, and passing that number would mean that the club needed to pay a luxury tax. Since the inception of the concept nearly 20 years ago, only eight teams have surpassed it. The Mets haven’t been one of them.

For the 2021 season, the number will be $210 million.

Cohen said that he is not afraid to surpass the luxury tax threshold at some point, but it may not happen right away or without a specific purpose.

“I think at some point we will, but maybe not this season,” Cohen said. “I’m not afraid to go over it, but you want to have flexibility on our payroll. Long-term contracts can limit a team’s ability going forward. I’ve said we are a major-market team and we should spend like we are a major-market team, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to spend like drunken sailors.”

The Mets have resources but know how to manage them

To keep him from recklessly spending money, Cohen brought Sandy Alderson, the former Mets’ general manager between 2010 and 2018, to be the team president.

“He is a real professional, a well-rounded executive,” Cohen said. “He’s easy to talk with and always thoughtful in his answers. I couldn’t think of a better person to learn from.”

Cohen also praised the Mets’ new general manager Jared Porter. “[I’m impressed by] his knowledge, his enthusiasm about players — he’s like a walking encyclopedia about players,” Cohen explained. “I love his energy. Jared is someone who’s capable of taking intelligent risks. He comes with a great baseball pedigree and he has four rings. I’m hoping he gets at least a fifth one while he’s here.”