So Steve Cohen has arrived. The Mets are going to look different in the front office and on the playing field. And Mets fans were buzzing on social media after the $2.4 billion sale from the Wilpons to Saul Katz became official Friday.
And thank you NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio for signing off on the sale with a bogus “This is our land” threat. That wasn’t going anywhere. The legal claims from the de Blasio fiasco made him public enemy Number 1 with Mets fans, and they won’t be extending a welcome mat for him at Citi Field anytime soon.
So the new era begins for the Mets. Just a couple of formalities here and there and Steve Cohen will quickly go to work and bring his multi billion dollar bank account to the Mets as the richest owner in baseball.
The Mets are expected to no longer be the baby brother of the cross-town Yankees when it comes to spending money and becoming instant players in the changing free agency market. Realize that baseball economics has changed with an impact from the coronavirus.
Regardless, Steve Cohen has the money. He has that initiative set as a lifelong Mets fan. He has the ability to get things done and already has announced intentions to donate $17,5 million to New York City small businesses and a pledge to provide more money to the Mets foundation.
Cohen has scored approval with Mets employees by saying he will reinstitue pre-pandemic salaries to them. He has scored points with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred,
And because he has the money, though the spending may not come as fast and furious as you want, expect that spending spree to change the complexion of this Mets roster and begin the process of hopefully playing baseball at Citi Field a year from now.
The Steve Cohen buzz has stretched miles away from Citi Field. And the players involved, agents that command salaries of their clients are ready to do business. One prominent player agent informed yours truly that when the free agency period opens Sunday, he intends to bargain with the Mets.
A prominent pitcher, non-tendered Friday, said his first preference was the Mets. And you can expect more of the same as the week’s progress in what will be an interesting baseball offseason for the Mets and 29 0ther teams.
But first it will be business and the front office. Sandy Alderson is expected to be in charge of baseball operations. And we don’t know how much of an impact Steve Cohen will have in everyday operations of the team.
But there will be changes and that could mean the end for GM Brodie Van Wagenen. Alderson, with knowledge of the Mets roster from his first tenure will take it from there, and of course will be in command of a different situation. That could also sit well for the Mets.
This definitely puts a different perspective on things. They will spend. We know they will spend as they never did in the Wilpon era and all you have to do is listen to the comments from Steve Cohen.
“ With free agency starting Sunday night we will be working towards a quick close,” Cohen said Friday.
If that isn’t a clue then what is? And this doesn’t necessarily mean the Mets will immediately acquire catcher J.T. Relamuro, pitcher Trevor Bauer, or outfielder Geroge Springer.
Then again, the climate has changed and Steve Cohen has the money .There is more of a possibility the Mets could become a team with the highest payroll in the game and that is a drastic change.
A change, despite Steve Cohen claiming there could be a $400 million loss the first few years with his new venture. But as baseball owners cry poverty over a reported $2.3 billion loss of revenue this season, there will be a difference.
The difference, Steve Cohen is not a new kid on the block when it comes to spending money with his investments even if there is a loss in revenue the first few years.
He is committed to assuring Mets fans that a championship team will be on the field. The Wilpons said the same thing during their tumultuous era with the Mets.
But the knock, we know, they did not spend wisely or not at all. Finally Mets fans have their equivalent of a George Steinbrenner who never hesitated to spend and always acquired that player or two that made an impact in the Bronx.
Oh yeah, baseball will become interesting in this town again. And Steve Cohen will make it that more interesting.
Rich Mancuso: [email protected] Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso
Photo: Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire