Steve Cohen talks payroll, says Mets want to take advantage of unique market: 'I think there will be lots of opportunities'

Danny Abriano
·2 min read
Steve Cohen treated art blue Citi Field in background
Steve Cohen treated art blue Citi Field in background

New Mets owner Steve Cohen said during his introductory news conference on Tuesday that he will spend commensurate with the market he's in as he and Sandy Alderson look toward 2021 and beyond. Due to the state of the market, that spending could put the Mets in a great position.

"We're trying to formulate those thoughts today. I can promise you we're gonna act like a major market team," Cohen said via Zoom. "Are we gonna act like drunken sailors in the marketplace? No. I want to be thoughtful.

"You can spend a lot of money today and then tie up your team in bad contracts for the next five years. That's part of building a sustainable franchise. You want to make decisions not (on just) what works for the next 60 games but works for the next few years. We want to be thoughtful about it."

Regarding the market, the thought over the last few weeks has been that Cohen's Mets could be in a unique position when it comes to adding free agents and/or more expensive players via trade due to the fact that Cohen was not impacted by the losses incurred by every other owner during the 2020 season as the coronavirus pandemic impacted revenue.

Cohen did not disagree with the above notion.

"I think we're in an unusual market today given COVID, where a lot of teams might (trade players) -- and we're starting to see players maybe being offloaded because of financial concerns," he explained. "I think Sandy and I want to take advantage of that. I think there will be lots of opportunities. Teams are gonna want to talk to us and we'll see what's available."

Among the players available this offseason via trade could be Francisco Lindor, with the Cleveland Indians reportedly eager to engage the Mets in trade talks. Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado could also be dangled.

As far as free agency goes, the biggest names on the market are George Springer, J.T. Realmuto, and Trevor Bauer, and each of them would fill a big need for the Mets.

"My sense is that we have holes to fill and clearly we need to fill catching and we need more pitching," Cohen said about the offseason plan. "We have a pretty good core of offensive players. We have good, young players. We have the best pitcher in baseball. I think that helps a lot. So we have a lot to build around, but we came in fourth three years in a row. Results speak for themselves."