Mets’ owner says they will “probably” exceed the newest luxury tax threshold

New York Mets

During collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations between MLB and the Players Association, the owners, fearing that New York Mets’ owner Steve Cohen would outspend everyone by a large margin, pushed for a fourth competitive balance tax (CBT) threshold and a steep penalty.

Clubs that exceed the threshold are subject to a 20 percent surtax. Meanwhile, those who exceed it by more than $20 million are taxed at a 32 percent rate. The third tax (62.5 percent) would enter the equation when the club passed the initial CBT by more than $40 million. Well, the fourth tax, unofficially known as the Steve Cohen tax, is enforced when the team exceeds the $230 million threshold (for 2022) by $60 million or more, and involves an 80 percent tax rate.

Just a couple of days after the fourth tax was approved, the Mets’ owner confirmed what we all know: he is going to surpass it.

“$290 million dollars is a lot of money to spend overall,” Cohen said to Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News, referencing the new CBT threshold. “I’m OK with it. I’m willing to live with it.”

Cohen talked to the media on Sunday at Clover Park, where the Mets’ spring training complex is located.

The Mets are the most expensive team in MLB

The Mets are currently at a projected payroll of $265 million, the largest in MLB, after acquiring Oakland Athletics’ pitcher Chris Bassitt. The team also signed reliever Adam Ottavino.

Reporters asked Cohen if he believed the Mets will exceed that $290 million luxury tax threshold, to which the billionaire, who is worth $15 billion, said the likelihood of that happening was high.

“We probably will [go over],” Cohen said. “I wouldn’t be surprised. Hard to say by how much.”

“I know there’s a name for it. They call it the ‘Cohen Tax,’” Cohen said. “That’s what [Brandon Nimmo] called it. The way I describe it is, it’s better than a bridge being named after you or something like that. It’s still a lot of money to spend on a payroll. I don’t feel like it’s so confining that I can’t live with it.”

We’re going to be careful at this point,” Cohen said. “After a few moves, we’re going to feel like we are where we are and then at that point I think we’ll have a team that we’re comfortable with.”

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

New York Mets

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.

New York Mets: Cohen hires ex-Yankee manager Buck Showalter

After two losing seasons, the New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has finally chosen a new manager to lead the Mets to a post-season appearance. Cohen announced on his Twitter account that he had selected Buck Showalter.

Going into the last round of interviews, Showalter seemed to be the favorite. The Mets had already rejected Bob Geren, Clayton McCullough, and Brad Ausmus. That left Showalter, Astros’ bench coach Joe Espada. and Tampa Bay Rays’ bench coach Matt Quatraro. We now know that Showalter got the job.

Showalter managed the New York Yankees for three years from 1992. During his four years as the Yankees’ manager, the team posted a record of 313–268. He finished first in the 1994 strike-shortened season. The Associated Press named him manager of the year. In 1995 he was the manager of the All-Star game. The Yankees won the Wild Card game that year but lost to the Seattle Mariners in the ALDS. Most recently, Showalter was a pre and post-game commentator for the Yankees on the YES Network.

Showalter also managed the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Texas Rangers. Showalter, in his career, has been named manager of the year three times, most recently with the Orioles.

Showalter had his longest term as a manager with the Baltimore Orioles. He managed the O’s from 2013 to 2018. He took over the losing team and became the first manager to take over a losing team mid-season and turn it into a winning record at the end of the season. Showalter brought the Orioles to the post-season three of his five years with the team. Showalter’s contract was up after the 2018 season, and with 115 losses that year, he was not brought back as manager.

The Mets have already made some very smart moves with Cohen’s pocketbook open. New general manager Eppler has added outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha, infielder Eduardo Escobar, and in the big move, spent $130 million on another ace pitcher in Max Scherzer on a three-year contract. With Jacob deGrom and Francisco Lindor back for the 2022 season, Showalter will have a lot to work with.

The choice of Showalter is an interesting one; he is an old-time gut manager. He understands and respects analytics, but you can bet he will overrule them when his gut tells him otherwise. Stay with EmpireSportsMedia.com as this story unfolds.

Mets’ owner Steve Cohen: Player ‘hit the third rail’ with thumbs-down at fans, ‘it is unacceptable’

New York Mets

By now, the baseball world saw the latest controversy surrounding the New York Mets. Fans have been booing players for quite some time now, especially as of late since they are 8-19 in the month of August.

Players, understandably, are frustrated by everything related to the 2021 season: their own performance, and the way fans have been reacting to it. However, some of the team’s stars such as Francisco Lindor and Javier Baez made thumbs down gestures that were, as they revealed after the game, directed to fans.

Basically, Baez said that since fans booed them when they weren’t producing, they were going to “boo” (using the thumbs down sign) the fans when they produced.

Mets’ owner Steve Cohen went to Twitter last night, after the incident took place, to weigh in on the subject. He playfully wrote: “I miss the days when the biggest controversy was the black jerseys.”

The Mets’ owner hopes the players can ‘learn from this’

He did talk about the issue with Joel Sherman of the New York Post. “These are young guys and sometimes we forget they are on a public stage and can make mistakes,” Cohen told The Post by phone. “They hit the third rail, though, by messing with fans. And it is unacceptable. Hopefully, this is a teaching moment and they will learn from this.”

Mets’ president Sandy Alderson also issued a statement after the whole controversy took place on Sunday, condemning the players’ decision to ‘criticize’ fans.

“The Mets will not tolerate any player gesture that is unprofessional in its meaning or is directed in a negative way toward our fans,” Alderson said. “I will be meeting with our players and staff to convey this message directly.”

The Mets held the first place in the NL East for months, but since Jacob deGrom and Lindor hit the injured list in July, they have been playing poorly. They are now third in the division.

Mets’ players and manager to give owner Steve Cohen a keepsake after first victory

The New York Mets won their first game of the season on Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Phillies, a day after dropping their season opener in spectacular fashion. Manager Luis Rojas and the players certainly hope the victory is the first of many to come in a new era of Mets’ baseball led by owner Steve Cohen.

Cohen, a lifelong Mets’ fan, acquired the time last year by bidding approximately $2.4 billion, and brought Sandy Alderson to be the team president. Since then, the team has been extremely active in free agency and trade talks, as they brought shortstop Francisco Lindor from Cleveland and gave him a 10-year, $341 million extension just before Opening Day.

As Albert Almora caught the final out in Tuesday’s 8-4 win, he handed the ball to Brandon Nimmo, who in turn gave it to Kevin Pillar. The latter passed it onto Rojas as a souvenir, a keepsake of the Mets’ first joy of the 2021 campaign.

However, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reported that Rojas won’t keep the ball. Instead, he plans to give it to Steve Cohen on Thursday, before the season opener at Citi Field. Rojas want Cohen to have it as a memento of his first win as a Mets’ owner.

 A new era has begun for the Mets

“The first of many to come,” Rojas said afterward.

“The buzz and the excitement started at the early part of Spring Training,” Mets’ outfielder Dominic Smith, who it a home run yesterday, said. “And it all revolves around him. Obviously when he took over ownership, and the moves he’s made, he’s just been tremendous. Every move he’s made has been great. We’re just excited to see him take over in leadership and to see his passion and his will to want to come and win.”

Cohen couldn’t see the game live last night, but will be at Citi Field seeing the home opener from his suite. There, he plans to interact with fans.

Mets’ fans feel a new era is about to begin. And everything starts at the top.

Francisco Lindor Agrees To A 10-Year, $341 Million Extension With Mets

The hours on hours of anxiety for New York Mets fans are finally over as Francisco Lindor will spend the rest of his career in Queens. Deliberations have concluded, and Lindor accepted a 10-year, $341 million extension, which begins after 2021 concludes.

Lindor’s new contract earns him a million more than Fernando Tatis Jr. and is the third-largest total ever given. This puts him right behind the record-breaking deals of Mike Trout and Mookie Betts. Lindor’s deal has no opt-outs, around $50 million in deferral money, and a limited no-trade clause.

If the Mets and Lindor could not agree on a deal before his deadline, it would have become a lingering distraction all season. It may have even pushed Mets fans to unfairly boo him during their home opener. With the extension, the Mets locked up their next face of the franchise who hopes to bring home the first World Series championship since the 1986 season.

The pessimistic fan can no longer claim that Steve Cohen is all talk. Within three months, he revamped a depleted roster the Wilpons left him and made history with Lindor’s new contract. They have crept back into the major market of teams and are ready to compete with the Los Angeles Dodgers for years to come. Of course, Michael Conforto’s contract extension is the next one on the table, but there is a much longer timetable for his.

Mets’ owner Steve Cohen about Francisco Lindor: ‘It takes two to tango’

New York yankees, Francisco Lindor

Opening Day is just a few hours away, and the New York Mets and star shortstop Francisco Lindor, who is on the last year of arbitration and will be a free agent after the season, remain apart by about $60 million in his contract extension negotiations.

The Mets acquired Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco at the start of the year in a trade. New York knew that Lindor was going to command a contract north of $300 million, but they didn’t expect his asking price to approach $400 million.

Right now, the Mets are offering a 10-year pact worth $325 million, while Lindor’s camp is asking for a 12-year commitment worth $385 million. The player established Opening Day as a hard deadline for contract negotiations.

“Lindor is a heckuva player and a great guy,” Mets’ owner Steve Cohen said. “I hope he decides to sign.” Cohen and Lindor reportedly had dinner over the weekend to discuss a potential agreement, but as of Wednesday morning, the two sides aren’t close. That could change, though.

The Mets could be approaching record territory

For reference, the 12-year, $385 million contract would be the second-largest guaranteed pact in American professional sports history, behind only Mike Trout’s Angels deal worth $426.5 million.

“I hope they pay him $400 million,” Mets’ teammate Pete Alonso said of Lindor. “He’s worth every penny.”

Cohen’s tone is that of a disappointed man about the turn that the negotiations have taken in the last few days. He also said that “it takes two to tango,” clearly referencing that he wants Lindor to lower his demands.

Here are the largest contracts in MLB history, per the league’s official site:

Mike Trout, Angels: 12 years, $426.5 million

Mookie Betts, Dodgers: 12 years, $365 million

Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres: 14 years, $340 million

Bryce Harper, Nationals: 13 years, $330 million

Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (signed with the Miami Marlins): 13 years, $325 million

New York Mets: Give Francisco Lindor Years (And Money) He Deserves

Opening Day is less than 48 hours away, and the time to re-sign Francisco Lindor is quickly dwindling away. The New York Mets have made their offer of 10-years/$325 million, and Lindor countered with a 12-year/$385 million offer. Lindor’s camp said they are not budging on their offer, but one expensive variable remains. Will Steve Cohen open up the wallet more to secure his superstar?

Just discussing an extension this large is an example of the franchise’s growth since Cohen purchased the team. The Wilpons would never acquire a player of Lindor’s talent (unless he was 36 years old) and then contemplate offering a $300+ million extension. The Mets offer has Lindor earning a $32.5 million AAV, while Lindor’s offer gets him an AAV of just over $32 million. Negotiations are not about the money; they are about the length of the deal. After years of watching great talent leave them to win elsewhere, why waste the best talent they have acquired?

Who Cares About Two Extra Years?

To put things in perspective, it will be 2033 when Lindor’s 12-year deal finally concludes. Current Manager Luis Rojas will be 52, Steve Cohen will be 77, Jacob deGrom will be 45, and Jarred Kelenic will be 34. For anyone to have any idea about how Lindor’s deal will affect the “30s” Mets roster is speaking out of a part that cannot be mentioned in this article.

Another way to look at it is that not a single Met from their 2009 roster is still with the team. Oliver Perez and Darren O’Day are the only 2 out of 53 players who are still on big-league rosters. The Mets have to get themselves through the decade that just started before worrying about the following one.

If the first ten years of Lindor result in at least one championship, would anyone complain about having him for two more seasons? The Mets organization and its fans have been through too much pain and turmoil since 1986 to worry about the last two years of a potential hall of fame career. This discussion is with only one World Series mentioned. If multiple rings came to Flushing, the Lindor statue would glow in front of Citi Field before he retires.

Jacob deGrom’s Cy Young caliber years can no longer waste away on losing teams, and he will produce greatly if given the opportunity in the postseason. Getting Lindor here was the first act to change the franchise, and act two ensures that he will finish his career in blue and orange. The extension is the final piece to show the Mets are as legitimate as their cross-country rivals in the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Make The Commitment

Lindor is a modern-day ironman, averaging 154 games in his first four full seasons and playing in all 60 during 2020. He was an All-Star in all four seasons with three top-10 MVP finishes. Lindor also won two Silver Sluggers, two Gold Glove Awards, and a Platinum Glove award. The Mets have not had a two-time Silver Slugger winner since David Wright (2007-08) and a two-time Gold Glover since Wright and Carlos Beltran (2007-08).

Lindor’s worst season in 2020 was better than any season Amed Rosario will ever play at shortstop. Even if the Mets attempt to test the free-agent waters, none of the shortstops compare to Lindor. He has recorded three consecutive seasons of a 40% or better hard-hit rate to go along with his 39 career defensive runs saved. Lindor is a 20 stolen base, 30 home run, 40 doubles player who puts him in the same boat as the other MVP candidates in baseball.

Steve Cohen made it clear that he expects to deliver a World Series winner in 3-5 years and keeping Lindor is the foundation to achieving that goal. Lindor’s all-around talent, splendid leadership, and fan-favorite ability make him as worthy as David Wright was to the franchise. Despite the stalemate between both sides, Mets fans should continue to be hopeful that a deal will be completed all the way up to 7:09 p.m. on Opening Day.

New York Mets: Francisco Lindor and Steve Cohen meet for dinner as contract extension deadline nears

When the New York Mets surrendered four players, including two exciting young shortstops in Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez, to get Francisco Lindor for the Cleveland Indians, they knew there were no guarantees that he would agree to spend his long-term future in New York. However, owner Steve Cohen and the front office knew that they have as good a shot as anyone to lure him to the Big Apple and get his signature in a contract extension.

The New York Mets, so far, have been impressed by Lindor’s on and off the field, and more than ever, want to get something done. If they don’t agree to a contract before Opening Day this week, the Mets will have to wait until after the season to renegotiate, as Lindor imposed that deadline a few days ago. The problem is that, after the World Series, the All-Star infielder will be a free agent and other clubs will enter the bidding.

According to Mets manager Luis Rojas and others, Cohen spent a night dining with Lindor over the weekend, and it’s fair to assume that the contract extension was among the conversation topics. The owner, very active on his Twitter account, hinted at the meal on the platform as he replied to a question by saying: “The ravioli wasn’t very good.”

The Mets should expect to pay at least $300 million

The floor for a Lindor contract extension is said to be $300 million, and the shortstop already turned down an offer in the $200 million neighborhood back when he played in Cleveland.

The Mets are reportedly ‘prepared’ to go big for Lindor and fellow extension candidate Michael Conforto. The player is helping his case with a strong spring, batting .365/.431/.615 in 16 games.

“He’s been a great asset so far,” Rojas said. “So we can’t wait to watch him in the season performing to help us win games, like we expect.”

New York Mets: Undoubtedly The Right Move To Fire Jared Porter Quickly

Simeon Woods-Richardson

Just after the one year anniversary of Carlos Beltran’s sudden firing, the New York Mets fired Jared Porter immediately after his disgusting and inappropriate messages/images to a former female journalist. Steve Cohen acted quickly on his decision, keeping to his word of changing the culture in Flushing.

 

The conversation originally began as friendly but quickly moved to the point that made the journalist uncomfortable. Porter sent 62 consecutive messages, including multiple inappropriate photos to a former foreign correspondent covering the sport. It got to a point where she purposely hid from Porter when they were in the same venue. It lingered in her life to a point where it became part of why she stopped working as a journalist.

In an offseason where Kim Ng and Bianca Smith were hired to groundbreaking positions, we are reminded of this behavior’s harsh reality continuing to riddle professional sports. Steve Cohen made the right call by firing him first thing in the morning and refusing to let it linger in the organization. Mets fans are familiar with the past ownership allowing scandals to stain their team’s reputation.

The typical rebuttal is “he should get a second chance after admitting to it,” and it is always wrong. His behavior is inexcusable and deserves consequences. Porter’s professional baseball career is likely over and needs to face the poor choices he made.

As the Mets move forward to spring training, Zack Scott will likely become the next general manager.