Steve Cohen: Mets starting to ‘look stacked’ in 2024 thanks to organizational depth

Steve Cohen Mets
Steve Cohen (Rob Cuni/AMNY)

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen is convinced that his team is going to surprise people in 2024 despite a significantly quieter offseason compared to the previous three.

“We’ve talked about being competitive and my expectation is that we will be,” he said in Port St. Lucie, FL on Sunday. “In general, expectations are pretty low and I think we’re going to surprise to the upside.”

This season will be new president of baseball operations David Stearns’ maiden voyage toward a vision of long-term sustainability. Rather than crack into the depths of Cohen’s wallet, he made smaller, lower-profile signings to address the depth of the pitching staff and bullpen while making it a priority to give some of the club’s younger players a proper crack at starting jobs.

That, most notably, will be seen at third base and DH where Brett Baty and Mark Vientos are slated to be every-day options. 

“We’ve been following a plan and we’ve been very clear about that plan,” Cohen said. “We want to play our younger players and find out what we have and I fully expect that’s the way it’s going to go.”

Should they struggle, the Mets can then foray into their funding or even head into a bolstered farm system that made a significant jump in Major League Baseball’s rankings after a busy trade deadline last season. 

Going from having one of the worst pool of prospects in baseball, the Mets traded Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander — eating significant money in the process — to bring back top prospects in Drew Gilbert, Luisangel Acuna, and Ryan Clifford. 

“We made trades at the deadline that boosted and accelerated the depth of our farm system and we’ve seen the fruits of that,” Cohen said. “For the first time, we’re starting to look stacked. I don’t think I would’ve ever used that term before. That’s a good feeling. Between that and our ability to use our resources in the free-agent market, that’s a powerful combination, so I’m hopeful.

“This is turning into a world-class organization. My goal over time, is that creates sustainable winning.”

But a longer leash for younger players does not deviate from Cohen and Stearns’ plan of being competitive from the jump. That means a legitimate playoff push in 2024 to position themselves toward World Series aspirations in 2025 and beyond.

“I think making the playoffs [constitutes a successful season],” Cohen said. “Last year was a real disappointment. We came in with high expectations. I wasn’t expecting what happened to happen. I think this year, I think we’ve built up the floor of what’s possible and I think there are a couple great teams in the National League but other than that, I think we’re as competitive as any other team.”

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