During Steve Cohen’s first season as the New York Mets owner, the team failed to meet the sky-high expectations people had formed.
They dominated the National League East division for months, only to collapse in the second half and end the season empty-handed.
The season was also filled with scandals of all kinds, with general manager Jared Porter’s sexual harassment allegations, assistant GM Zack Scott’s DUI, the crowd booing Francisco Lindor during his first half struggles, and players starting a feud with fans.
Then, after showing interest in at least 10 candidates, they finally found their new general manager in Billy Eppler a few weeks ago, kickstarting their offseason.
When the Mets lost out on Steven Matz, as he reportedly didn’t go back to them after being offered a contract by the St. Louis Cardinals, it all became personal for Cohen, president Sandy Alderson, Eppler, and the organization as a whole.
At that point, the Mets started to really show that they have no budget: their only goal is to build a competitive team and be put it in the best possible position to win.
The Mets haven’t lifted a World Series trophy since 1986 and haven’t gone to the Fall Classic since 2015.
The Mets Just Want To Win
For a diehard fan like Cohen, that’s a lot of time without winning.
Cohen, a hedge fund billionaire, promised the Mets would be back in the World Series in a short period of time after his takeover.
The first year of his tenure didn’t go particularly well, but the second is off to a blistering start, even if teams are far from taking the field yet.
Last Friday, they signed three major free agents to fortify their lineup.
That same day, they inked infielder Eduardo Escobar to a two-year, $20 million pact.
As a result, they chased Kevin Gausman’s signature over the weekend, and were one of the finalists before he decided to go to the Toronto Blue Jays on a five-year, $110 million.
The Mets reportedly offered him more money, but he opted to go north and join another exciting project.
The Mets offered Kevin Gausman more than the 5/$110 million he accepted in Toronto, per source.
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) November 29, 2021
Bringing In Scherzer Was The Move Of The Offseason
Then, on Monday, the Mets made perhaps the statement of the offseason so far: they signed star pitcher Max Scherzer to a huge, record-breaking three-year, $130 million contract.
The deal contains an opt out after the second year and full no-trade protection for Scherzer.
Scherzer’s $43.3 million per season shattered the AAV (average annual value) record in MLB.
The Mets understand the risks associated with signing a 37-year-old pitcher to a three-year deal, but they are prepared to take it in exchange for contending for a World Series title.
With that goal in mind, Cohen and the Mets are showing that their financial power is greater than every franchise in MLB, including the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The most impressive part of it all is that the Mets may not be done.
You know how when you play franchise mode in The Show and you can turn off salary restrictions/ budget? That’s Steve Cohen and the Mets right now.
— Comeback MLB Insider Brian (IFB) (@ComebackBrian) November 29, 2021
The offseason is far from over, but the Mets financial muscle has become evident at this point.