MLB wants to create the “Steve Cohen tax”; Mets owner is OK with it

New York Mets
Dec 7, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Mets sign and logo during the MLB winter meetings at Gaylord Opryland Resort. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

MLB and the Players Association are apparently relatively close to coming to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), but there are things to solve, and one of them has to do with the New York Mets.

Yes, the two sides are still working on setting the framework for economics in the CBA: minimum salary, the competitive balance tax (CBT) threshold, and the bonus pool money for pre-arbitration players are still works in progress, but the international draft and expanded playoffs are also yet to be solved.

One of the things owners want to implement, however, is some control over how much money Steve Cohen, the owner of the Mets, spends on his roster.

In the last CBA, there were three penalties for teams who exceeded the threshold.

According to the league’s official site, “clubs that exceed the threshold by $20 million to $40 million are also subject to a 12 percent surtax. Meanwhile, those who exceed it by more than $40 million are taxed at a 42.5 percent rate the first time and a 45 percent rate if they exceed it by more than $40 million again the following year(s).”

The Mets’ owner won’t care if it means his team is competitive every year

That was the last CBA, but it appears penalties will be similar this year. However, the owners want to add a fourth tier, specifically designed to tax the Mets’ owner.

According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, “MLB seeks to add a 4th tier for the very biggest spending teams that are way over the luxury tax threshold, to be taxed at the highest rate. This is likely to affect only Mets and Dodgers in ‘22. Word is, Mets owner Steve Cohen is OK with it if MLB thinks it’s for the greater good.”

At $235,599,999, the Mets already have the largest payroll for 2022.

This development tells us two things: one, that Cohen is very, very rich. And two, if it means the Mets are in a position to compete every year, it won’t matter to him. It’s as simple as that.