New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has become synonymous with spending whatever it takes to land star players.
Despite some criticism of his roster construction, some have praised 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 fans, ‘I’m in this with you.’ He’s a fan of baseball and he’s a fan of his team.»
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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 baseball’s biggest names have landed in Queens after signing contracts. massive.
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The Mets won 101 games last season, and fans seem to approve of Cohen’s strategy. Some fans were seen wearing T-shirts at the team’s training camp with an image that appeared to be of Cohen wearing a crown.
The Mets had one of the best payrolls in MLB last season and are expected to have a record payroll that could top $360 million in 2023. The huge payroll would also make Cohen liable for a hefty luxury tax bill.
Cohen has shown that he is one of the few homeowners willing to pay the luxury tax. Many owners tend to avoid the tax due to the added cost and reduced profit that comes with signing players.
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Some of Cohen’s fellow owners are believed to be unhappy with the Mets’ spending patterns. But, during recent owners’ meetings, many of the attendees acknowledged that 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 shouldn’t complain about what Cohen is doing.
«It’s up to us to beat their team,» Freeman said.
«Why would you be upset? The guy wants to win,» he added. «Pass away. Why not? He’s telling his fans, ‘I’m with you.’ The fan base is excited to have an owner who wants to win as much as they do.»
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The Dodgers typically have one of the most expensive rosters in the league, but the front office spent slightly less this winter than in recent history.
«We did cut, but to a $240 million payroll,» Freeman said in defense of the Dodgers. «Sure, we didn’t have the $300 million signing. But, in this clubhouse, you look around and you still see a really good team.»