If you have been following baseball, specifically MLB, over the last two years, you know that the New York Mets have the funds and the willingness to spend on roster improvements.
They traded for Francisco Lindor and then extended him in a $341 million contract, and this offseason, they have signed Max Scherzer ($130 million), Starling Marte ($78 million), Mark Canha, and Eduardo Escobar, too.
The bottom line is that Steve Cohen, the wealthiest owner in MLB and a lifelong Mets fan, will do anything to win, within the rules, of course.
And that’s perfectly fine.
Owners, however, are worried about his big expenses, and therefore added a fourth competitive balance tax (CBT) tier designed, almost exclusively, for Cohen.
The “Steven Cohen Tax”
The first luxury tax is set at $230 million for 2022, with the second and third being enforced when a team exceeds $250 million and $270 million, respectively.
The fourth tier, the “Steve Cohen tax”, comes to play if a team crosses $290 million in payroll.
At that point, according to SNY, it “will be hit with an overage fee of 80 percent (rising to 90 percent in a second consecutive year over it and 110 percent in a third).”
Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweeted that the Mets “are calculated to be $9-10M under 4th tier threshold of $290M. They seek a starter and hitter, and if they sign both are likely to exceed $290M. Owner Steve Cohen isn’t going to complain and may go over, but some Mets people saw a target on his back.”
Mets are calculated to be $9-10M under 4th tier threshold of $290M. They seek a starter and hitter, and if they sign both are likely to exceed $290M. Owner Steve Cohen isn’t going to complain and may go over, but some Mets people saw a target on his back.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 11, 2022
Cohen may not care too much about the tax now, but he might at some point of the 2022-26 CBA.
For now, though, expect the Mets to keep browsing the market for some pitching improvements, with everything that may mean for the team’s CBT calculation.