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MLB Exec Says 'Our Sport Feels Broken Now' After Steve Cohen, Mets' Spending Spree

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 22, 2022

FLUSHING,  - APRIL 15: New York Mets owner Steve Cohen speaks to the crowd during the Tom Seaver Statue Dedication at Citi Field on Friday, April 15, 2022 in Flushing, NY. (Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The New York Mets have been spending more than any other team this offseason, but not everyone is happy about it.

"Our sport feels broken now," a rival executive told Evan Drellich of The Athletic. "We've got somebody with three times the median payroll and has no care whatsoever for the long-term of any of these contracts, in terms of the risk associated with any of them. How exactly does this work? I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it."

After the Mets' shocking deal with Carlos Correa worth $315 million over 12 years, the team's projected payroll was up to $384 million, per Jeff Passan of ESPN. This doesn't even include a luxury-tax payment of $111 million, which is right around the league-average payroll for 2023, per Spotrac.

In addition to Correa, the Mets also made headlines this offseason with the signings of Justin Verlander, Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Díaz, Jose Quintana and Kodai Senga.

Aaron Gleeman @AaronGleeman

Mets have spent $806 million on free agents this offseason.<br><br>Twins have spent $710 million on free agents combined since moving into Target Field in 2010.

It helps that Steve Cohen is the richest owner in baseball with an estimated net worth of $17.5 billion, per Forbes. Then again, he's not the only owner in the league with money to spare.

The Oakland Athletics have the lowest projected payroll in the majors for 2023, although majority owner John Fisher has an estimated net worth of $2.3 billion, per Forbes.

Rival teams are still upset at the precedent Cohen is sending with his spending spree.

"I think it's going to have consequences for him down the road," an official with another team said. "There's no collusion. But … there was a reason nobody for years ever went past $300 million. You still have partners, and there's a system."

Contracts have increased throughout the league this offseason, with Aaron Judge (nine years, $360 million), Trea Turner (11 years, $300 million) and Xander Bogaerts (11 years, $280 million) also signing massive deals.

If opposing teams want to keep up, they likely will be forced to spend as well.

Of course, money doesn't guarantee championships.

The Los Angeles Dodgers had the highest payroll in baseball last year but lost in the NL divisional series, while the eighth-ranked Houston Astros won it all. The Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels were all in the top 10 in payroll but missed the playoffs.

The Mets are hoping the latest moves are enough to win their first World Series title since 1986, but the players must get it done on the field.