If Mets fans have learned one thing since new owner Steve Cohen purchased the team, it’s that he’s more than willing to share where he stands on any number of topics.
Cohen recently answered a wide-ranging number of questions from The Post’s Steve Serby regarding the state of the organization.
As always, Cohen was very open and honest.
Once the sale to Cohen was final, the immediate hope from fans was that the team would spend, spend, spend. Since the newest rules regarding MLB’s luxury tax were collectively bargained in 2002, eight teams have crossed that threshold, but the Mets have not been one of them.
Cohen said the team might not join that list, but perhaps not right away.
“I think at some point we will, but maybe not this season,” Cohen said. “I’m not afraid to go over it, but you want to have flexibility on our payroll. Long-term contracts can limit a team’s ability going forward. I’ve said we are a major-market team and we should spend like we are a major-market team, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to spend like drunken sailors.”
Sandy Alderson is now back into the fold as team president after serving as general manager from 2010-2018, and the owner had nothing but praise for the 2015 Baseball America Executive of the Year.
“He is a real professional, a well-rounded executive,” Cohen said. “He’s easy to talk with and always thoughtful in his answers. I couldn’t think of a better person to learn from.”
Similarly, Cohen had rave reviews from new general manager Jared Porter, as well.
“[I’m impressed by] his knowledge, his enthusiasm about players — he’s like a walking encyclopedia about players,” Cohen said. “I love his energy. Jared is someone who’s capable of taking intelligent risks. He comes with a great baseball pedigree and he has four rings. I’m hoping he gets at least a fifth one while he’s here.”
When a new regime comes into an organization, it often means they’ll clean house from top to bottom. That could include finding a new head coach or manager, but in the case of Luis Rojas, Cohen likes what he has in the dugout.
“He’s a thoughtful guy, a bright guy with a great demeanor and very calm,” Cohen said. “I understand why the players want to play for him. He was a solid choice for us because Luis has been with the organization for a long time and got to know a lot of the players on the team while they were all in the minors together. I think he’s going to use the lessons he learned last year, apply them, and be a better manager this year.”
When Cohen was introduced as owner in November, he surprised some people when he gave a specific timetable as to when he expects the Mets to bring a World Series title to Queens. Has he backtracked from that initial sentiment?
“I said at the opening press conference that I thought we could do it in three to five years and I haven’t seen or heard anything that makes me think differently,” Cohen said.
Fair enough. Let’s play ball.