What Can Mets Fans Expect From Steve Cohen?by Yehuda Schwartz November 12, 2020 2 comments
Steve Cohen is officially the owner of the New York Mets, and has been very expressive in his love and fandom for the storied franchise. Despite a few hiccups with the bidding, legal, and owner’s approval, the Point 72 CEO is now the majority owner of a large-market MLB team. He was introduced in a Zoom press conference along with new president Sandy Alderson. Cohen, a native of Great Neck, NY, had much to say and laid down the groundwork for future expectations.
The Immediate Effect
As the new owner, he pledged to help out the employees who had been laid off due to the pandemic and assist them financially. He also stated that they will immediately be reaching out to players’ agents during free agency and contacting teams for trades despite not having a fully intact front office. Alderson said that they contemplated scooping up Brad Hand on waivers when he was available. This shows that the Mets are not messing around.
Mr. Cohen said very clearly on Tuesday that he wants the Mets to build a winning formula for now as well as in the future. He added that the farm system should be the main supplier of talent, and the club would go out and spend money and trade chips as they see fit. With the uncertain market and the fact that he is buying a team still a few pieces away from a championship, the club will likely be acquiring and spending more than just developing talent initially.
That mentality starts with the front office and analytics department. Alderson was brought in as team president, and is in charge of finding a new general manager and president of baseball operations. Cohen mentioned that the team will look to use the best analytics available to help boost the team’s performance. This would entail another search by Alderson for a new team pertaining to that department. Those items will be the first things to be addressed this offseason before addressing free agency.
In the current market, Cohen is in position as one of the few owners with the financial flexibility to spend as he desires. Many teams are cutting down on payroll which gives the Mets a competitive advantage, as well as being based in the New York market. There are some needs that the Mets have and the player pool offers potential fixes. Names include Marcus Stroman (who just accepted the Mets’ qualifying offer), Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer, J.T. Realmuto, and George Springer.
Cohen likely won’t score on all of those names, but one should not be surprised if the Mets do land at least one in addition to Stroman. Another player the Mets may focus on is via trade for Indians star shortstop Francisco Lindor. The Mets have the financial capability as well as the trade chips. The only questions are whether the Indians will receive a better offer or if Cohen prefers not to make the splash.
Aside from free agency, the Mets also need to expand their farm system and the development regime. That will come through more staff hiring by Alderson, with international signings and the draft to follow.
The new owner has made it clear that he wants to create a “Mets way”; a winning formula that is sustainable for the franchise. Cohen mentioned that he likes the Los Angeles Dodgers’ model, which has a strong homegrown core as well as a top-notch farm system. They spend money as necessary and use trade chips to fill the holes. The Mets will likely be able to spend more indicative of their market and be one of the more favorable destinations for players with rejuvenated management.
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