As Steve Cohen prepares to become the owner of the New York Mets and with it, the richest club owner in baseball, the reputation of him coming in and immediately spending money hand over fist is settling amongst the fan base.
It’s a reasonable expectation considering the 64-year-old hedge-fund billionaire is valued at $14.6 billion, but conversations with direct knowledge of the situation suggest that Cohen won’t simply be throwing money at the Mets’ problems to make them disappear.
“He’s never been a ‘guns blazing’ kind of guy,” a source told amNewYork Metro on Thursday afternoon. “He’s a shark… It’s in his DNA.”
“He didn’t get rich and successful by overspending on bad investments.”
That means not making a bevy of marquee signings just for the sake of instituting changes. In order to do so, he will need the help of the front-office members he either keeps or brings in.
“I expect him to spend where he needs to quickly, but not make too many high-priced moves,” the source said. “He and his people have to lift up the hood and see what works and what doesn’t.”
The Mets’ checklist toward becoming a contender is a lengthy one this offseason — ranging from bolstering the starting rotation to improving the bullpen, to finding a natural, bona fide center fielder.
“I’m sure they’ll do the no-brainer moves quickly,” he added. “But I can’t see him just spending for the sake of spending.”
The market this offseason will be teeming with options, especially when it comes to pitching.
Trevor Bauer looks as though he’s locked up the NL Cy Young Award with the Cincinnati Reds this season while Marcus Stroman, who opted out of the 2020 campaign with the Mets, will also be available. The latter made it known that he would want to return to the Mets.
In the bullpen, Oakland Athletics reliever Liam Hendriks and Chicago White Sox closer Alex Colome headline the market while center fielders George Springer, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Starling Marte will be up for grabs.
Replacing Wilson Ramos behind the plate will also be a priority for the Mets, and they’ve already been linked with Philadelphia Phillies star and soon-to-be-free-agent JT Realmuto, considered by many to be the best catcher in the game.
It has already been confirmed that Cohen will be bringing in former Mets GM Sandy Alderson to be the club’s president once he gets the necessary approval votes from the remaining 29 club owners.
Alderson worked seven years with the Mets and is on the precipice of building a team — alongside a potential new general manager — that won’t have the financial shackles previously experienced under the Wilpon family.