Since taking over the New York Mets in September 2020, Steve Cohen has completely transformed the franchise’s ways, to say the least.
After years of being an organization that hardly spent anything, in just the third season under Cohen’s leadership, the Mets are set to comfortably have the highest payroll in MLB history, well over a whopping $300 million.
As a result of his all-time spending spree, the feeling from other owners throughout the league is reportedly quite combative. To no surprise, Cohen could not care less.
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New York Mets owner Steve Cohen shares thoughts on frustrated owners:
In an article this morning, Jeff Passan of ESPN shared some quotes from Cohen on the impact George Steinbrenner had on the game as well as his take on other owners frustrated with his limitless budget.
On Steinbrenner, “George seemed bigger than life and passionate about baseball and brought a lot of life to the game. He made baseball interesting. And he did it his way. I’m going to do it my way. I don’t know if I’m making baseball interesting.”
When it comes to annoyed owners throughout baseball as a result of his through-the-roof spending, Cohen shared the following with Passan.
“I’ve heard what everyone else has heard: that they’re not happy with me. I hear things from people who are maybe more neutral – that they’re taking a lot of heat from their fans. I kind of look at that like, you’re looking at the wrong person. They’re putting it on me. Maybe they need to look more at themselves.”
“I’m not responsible for how other teams run their clubs. I’m really not. That’s not my job. And there are disparities in baseball. We know that to be true. I’m following the rules. They set the rules down, I’m following them.”
Cohen did admit to Passan that even he is a bit surprised with how much he has had to spend. Ultimately though, he made a commitment to Mets fans and has not backed down on his promise.
“I didn’t know I was going to have to spend like I did. I actually was a little naive in that regard. But once I got comfortable and realized, OK, what’s it going to take to put a great team on the field, I still had made a commitment to the fans, and to baseball, that I was going to come in and turn this thing around. I came in saying I’m all-in. And I keep my word.”
He has sure done just that. In his first few months, it was a lucrative 10-year contract extension to Francisco Lindor. Last off-season, a huge three-year contract for Max Scherzer and a pricey four-year deal for Starling Marte. Then, of course, this last free agency, in which Cohen went wild.
Between Justin Verlander, Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, and Kodai Senga, among various others, Cohen put himself in a position to field a club with the highest payroll in the history of the league.
With all of that spending only comes heightened expectations. The Mets enter this Spring Training with essentially World Series or bust aspirations. Thanks to Cohen, the talent on this baseball team is there to reach that goal.
In the end, with Cohen, while he may not be so well-liked across the MLB by owners, that is not his concern. He has made it clear from the start that his goal is to win a World Series, and heading into year three of his tenure with the franchise, has certainly done his part with the pieces this team has. Now, it is on the Mets players to go out and find a way to get the job done this year.