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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Mets Starting To Rip Apart MLB’s Most Expensive Roster Ever

  • MLB club parts ways with Scherzer, Robertson with potentially more moves to come
  • Frustration grows after unprecedented offseason outlay
Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Mets have begun the dismantling of MLB’s most expensive roster ever.

Just four months after starting the 2023 season with a $344 million roster that surpassed all prior league payroll records by more than $50 million, the Mets’ inability to post a winning record, much less compete for a playoff spot, has forced team officials to begin tearing the roster apart and regroup.

Now five games under .500, the Mets on Saturday traded pitcher Max Scherzer — who is tied for the league’s largest 2023 player salary at $43.3 million — to Texas, two days after sending $10 million closer David Robertson to Miami. Scherzer agreed to waive his no-trade clause to make the Rangers deal happen.

More Mets trades are expected in advance of MLB’s Aug. 1 trade deadline, but team GM Billy Eppler sought to reframe the team’s situation under owner Steve Cohen.

“It’s not a rebuild. It’s not a fire sale. It’s not a liquidation. This is just a repurposing of Steve’s investment in the club,” Eppler said.

The moves are not surprising, as Cohen in late June warned such decisions could be soon forthcoming as he lamented what had become a “terrible” season. But the team’s situation still serves as a stark indicator how much MLB’s traditional norms broadly linking player spending to on-field success have been inverted.

As the trade deadline approaches, MLB’s three largest spenders are all out of playoff position, while four of the bottom six are solidly contending. The No. 29 team — the $69 million Baltimore Orioles — in particular have soared to the top record in the American League.

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