The New York Mets are MLB's Newest Big Spenders
The deal is done. After countless rumors and failed deals, the New York Mets have finally been sold by the Wilpon family to hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen for a whopping $2.4 billion. The sale is a record for a baseball team, surpassing the $2 billion sale of the Dodgers in 2012. It is also a move that Mets fans have been eagerly anticipating for some time. After 34 years of being the target of mockery from fans across Major League Baseball, the Mets are finally heading in a new direction. With the sale of the team, announced Friday, the Mets are set to become the big spenders their fans have implored them to become.
After taking control of the Mets, Cohen wasted little time cleaning house. Within hours, it was announced that almost the entire front office, including general manager Brodie van Wagenen and his staff, would not be returning. In Van Wagenen's place would be a familiar face for Mets fans: Sandy Alderson, the architect of the 2015 Mets that won the National League Pennant. Alderson is reported to be returning on a high salary, with high expectations to strengthen the team.
Alderson is faced with the task of forming a new front office that, with Cohen's backing, will allow the Mets to be massive spenders in the coming years. Previously, the Mets have not been competitors in free agency. The Wilpons were among Major League Baseball's most stingy spenders, and often chose to forgo signing a player because they felt the signing would be for too much. Reports of dysfunction in the front office often plagued the team's public image. In recent years, it has been reported that the Wilpons often sent mixed messages to their own front office about how much money they would be willing to spend on players. This has often led the Mets to miss out on the marquee free agent signings their fans had hoped for, and instead settle for more inexpensive signings.
This dysfunction should end with Cohen's purchase of the team. With a reported net worth of $14 billion, the front office will likely be allowed to spend as much as they believe is necessary. With glaring weaknesses in starting pitching and catching, the Mets could be poised to make a run at top free agents to add to their core of Jacob DeGrom, Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and Dominic Smith. With Cohen's backing, expect the Mets to be active in pursuing one or more of Trevor Bauer, JT Realmuto, or George Springer. And even if they don't sign everyone their fans desire, look out for a new-look Mets team, one driven by shrewd management and a free-spending owner determined to make the team title challengers in the future.