Mets’ Steve Cohen fires back at MLB team owners who are mad at his spending: ‘They need to look more at themselves’
New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has one goal: to win the World Series. It’s a controversial position in baseball anyway.
Cohen, who has spent millions and millions to make sure the Mets compete, has become somewhat of a pariah among other MLB franchise owners who think his excessive spending makes them look bad.
On Monday, Cohen responded to these club owners, telling them: it’s their problemaccording to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
“I heard what everyone else heard: that they were unhappy with me,” Cohen said. “I hear things from people who are perhaps more neutral — that they get a lot of warmth from their fans. I’m looking at it like you’re looking at the wrong person. Maybe they need to look at themselves more.”
Cohen, who has spent almost $500 million as a free agent, stressed that he is not breaking any rules by signing elite talent.
“I am not responsible for how other teams manage their clubs,” he added. “I really don’t. It’s not my job. And there are differences in baseball. We know that’s true. I follow the rules. They make the rules, I follow them.”
He is right. There is no salary cap in baseball, although there is a competitive balance tax. Teams that exceed the CBT threshold – also known as the luxury tax – are penalized with additional money at the end of the season based on how much they exceed the limit. The competitive balance threshold for 2023 is approximately $233 million. The Mets’ payroll is expected to be around $335 million in 2023.
When it looked like the Mets were about to sign Carlos Correa, the team had to pay $111 million in tax penalties. That figure would be more than 10 MLB teams are spending on all of their rosters in 2023. But the deal with Correa fell through, so the Mets will pay less than $111 million in tax penalties… unless, of course, Cohen finds more ways to add.
Athletics, Orioles, Pirates and Reds among the lowest paid in MLB
Cohen didn’t name teams or franchise owners, but finding a list of MLB payrolls isn’t hard. In 2023, the Oakland Athletics are expected to have the lowest payroll in baseball with a projected $40.9 million. The team is actively trying to leave Oakland, which could affect team owner John Fisher – who should approximately $2.5 billion – do not invest in the club.
In 2023, the Baltimore Orioles are projected to be the second-largest payroll at $45 million. Team Owner Peter Angelos – Worth approximately $2 billion Cohen and Metz recently called out when asked about Orioles’ low wages. Angelos said he hoped to increase the team’s salary soon and that he “would like to sit in New York with $300 million payrolls.” The Orioles were on the hunt for a wild card last season but decided to sell off the pieces at the trade deadline.
Last season, Cincinnati Reds president Phil Castellini, son of team owner Bob Castellini, was criticized for telling fans, “Where are you going to go?” when asked about selling the team. The Reds are projected to earn $48.6 million in 2023, ranking 26th in MLB.
In 2022, the Athletics, Orioles and Reds were ranked in the bottom 10 in attendance according to ESPN. The Mets, who won 101 games, finished sixth in attendance last season.