New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has become synonymous with spending whatever it takes to land star players.
Despite some criticism for his roster building, some have lauded Cohen’s approach, including 2020 National League MVP Freddie Freeman.
“I love what he’s doing,” Freeman told the New York Post. “He wants to win. He’s telling the fans, ‘I’m in this with you guys.’ He’s a fan of baseball, and he’s a fan of his team.”
Cohen, a hedge fund manager and New York native, formally completed his $2.4 billion purchase of the Mets in November 2020. Since then, some of the biggest names in baseball have landed in Queens after inking massive contracts.
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The Mets won 101 games last season, and fans seem to approve of Cohen’s strategy. Some fans were spotted wearing shirts at the team’s training camp with a picture that appeared to be Cohen wearing a crown.
The Mets had one of the top MLB payrolls last season and are expected to have a record-breaking payroll that could exceed $360 million in 2023. The massive payroll would also make Cohen responsible for a hefty luxury tax bill.
Cohen has proven he is one of the few owners who is willing to pay the luxury tax. Many owners tend to shy away from the tax because of the added cost and reduction in profits that comes with signing players.
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Some of Cohen’s ownership colleagues are believed to be less than happy with the Mets’ spending patterns. But, during the recent owners meetings, many in attendance acknowledged Cohen is not violating any of the league’s rules.
But Freeman, who signed a six-year, $162 million contract with the Dodgers in March, said other teams should not be complaining about what Cohen is doing.
“It’s up to us to beat his team,” Freeman said.
“Why would you be upset? The guy wants to win,” he added. “Spend away. Why not? He’s telling his fans, ‘I’m with you.’ It’s excited the fan base to have an owner that wants to win as much as they do.”
The Dodgers routinely have one of the most expensive rosters in the league, but the front office spent a little less this winter than it has in recent history.
“We cut back, but to a $240 million dollar payroll,” Freeman said in defense of the Dodgers. “Sure, we didn’t have the $300 million signing. But, in this clubhouse, you look around you still see a really good team.”
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