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Friday, June 14, 2024

Mets Owner Faces Backlash After Tweet Sparks Trade Speculation

  • Mets owner Steve Cohen is walking back a now deleted tweet that further riled an impatient fan base.
  • The Yankees show a willingness to negotiate a long-term contract with Juan Soto—and soon.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball’s richest owner and, again, the supporter of the league’s largest payroll is once more facing questions about the possibility of blowing up a disappointing roster—and this time, the situation was largely of his own making. 

Mets owner Steve Cohen, worth an estimated $19.8 billion, is under renewed fan scrutiny after he suggested this week in a tweet response to a fan, “All in the future, not much we can do until trade deadline.” Cohen, who has since deleted that tweet, was responding to a fan question, leading to new speculation that the Mets would again be sellers at that July 30 deadline.

Cohen then sought to walk back his post on X in a subsequent comment made to the team’s regional sports network, SportsNet New York. 

“It’s way too early to speculate on anything,” Cohen said to SNY. “I know the fan base is frustrated, but it’s still early. We’re still very capable of making the playoffs. I fully expect to make the playoffs.”

The Mets have the league’s highest payroll for the second straight season, now standing at about $308 million. But the team is once again failing to match expectations, holding a 20–23 record after Thursday’s extra-innings win over the Phillies. The early-season struggles recall those from last year that ultimately led Cohen to dismantle much of what was the largest single-season outlay on players in MLB history at $344 million.

A Different Tune Across Town

The situation with the crosstown Yankees, meanwhile, is far more hopeful. The team entered Friday with a 30–15 record, best in the American League, aided in part by the high-profile offseason addition of star outfielder Juan Soto. 

Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner has been so encouraged by the early impact of Soto that he said he is open to altering the normal policy of both the team and that of Soto’s agent, Scott Boras, and negotiate a new, long-term contract during the season. Soto will be a free agent after the World Series, and he is likely to command a contract that will be the second highest in MLB history, trailing only Shohei Ohtani’s 10-year, $700 million deal with the Dodgers. Soto already turned down a 15-year, $440 million offer from the Nationals in 2022.

“We all know he’s [a] generational [talent], right? He’s the complete package,” Steinbrenner said of Soto on a YES Network podcast. “I had no doubts he would perform here under pressure, zero doubts with that. I was curious to see how he’d interact with the fans, how he would interact with the media, and, of course, how he would interact with the rest of the players. And it’s just been great, great, and great on those three things.”

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