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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Mets’ Staffing Cuts Join Growing List of Changes Under Cohen

  • The new team president of business operations leads a retooling of personnel.
  • The club has made an extensive series of big moves since last summer.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Change and turbulence are continuing for the Mets under MLB’s richest owner as the team laid off about 25 members of its business operations staff Tuesday, sources confirmed to Front Office Sports.

The personnel moves mark the latest in an extended series of dramatic events for the team in the last eight months as Steve Cohen (above) has poured unprecedented resources into the franchise, but he has yet to see the full returns of that expenditure and ambition. 

The layoffs are not a direct result of New York’s 75–87 finish in 2023 that was far below the World Series expectations of many pundits, were not dictated by Cohen, and do not extend to baseball operations. Rather, the moves were led by M. Scott Havens, the Mets’ new head of business operations, who, after arriving in January, conducted an extensive review of the team’s staff and then made the cuts. The layoffs represent a single-digit percentage of the Mets’ overall business-side personnel. 

“Over the last several years, many of our departments have grown well beyond sustainable levels, and larger than our peer group with Major League Baseball,” Havens said in a staff memo obtained by FOS. “While I understand this type of change is difficult and impacts all of us, these decisions were a necessary step in helping us evolve as an organization, and more importantly, to set us up for long-term growth and success.”

Changes Continue

Just since last summer’s non-waiver trade deadline, the Mets and Cohen have:

  • Dismantled key parts of what was a league-record $344 million payroll to start last season 
  • Issued an extended apology letter to season-ticket holders for the “disappointment” of the 2023 season
  • Hired former Brewers executive David Stearns as its new president of baseball operations 
  • Began to reap the benefits of a refinancing of Citi Field stadium construction bonds, a transaction projected to generate more than $200 million in total savings between now and 2046 
  • Proposed an $8 billion casino and entertainment complex adjacent to Citi Field 
  • Brought in Havens, the former CEO of Bloomberg Media and, before that, an executive with Time Inc. and The Atlantic, to lead the team’s business operations

Even after last year’s payroll cuts, the Mets will enter the 2024 season with one of MLB’s highest payrolls, currently tagged at nearly $284 million. The team, however, plays in one of the league’s toughest divisions, with the Braves, Phillies, and Marlins all reaching last year’s playoffs.

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