The “Cohen tax” apparently cannot slow down Steve Cohen’s New York Mets.
Cohen, who bought the Mets for $2.4 billion in 2020, has taken his spending on the team to unprecedented heights — despite an added luxury tax threshold in the latest collective bargaining agreement unofficially named for the well-heeled hedge-fund trader.
The tax requires him to pay 90 cents for every dollar above $293 million in payroll — which means the Mets are on the hook for an estimated $375.5 million against the luxury tax in 2023 and around $111 million in luxury tax payments.
Cohen filled out the starting rotation with Justin Verlander ($86.7 million over two years plus an option), Kodai Senga ($75 million, five years), and Jose Quintana ($26 million, two years) and re-signed Brandon Nimmo ($162 million, eight years), Edwin Diaz ($102 million, five years), and Adam Ottavino ($14.5 million, two years), among others.
The Amazins weren’t alone in cutting big checks: A strong free-agent class and changes to the collective bargaining agreement drove lavish spending across the league.
The neighboring New York Yankees kept Aaron Judge in the Bronx for nine years at $360 million and inked ace Carlos Rodon for $162 million over six years.
The Philadelphia Phillies signed Trea Turner ($300 million, 11 years) and Taijuan Walker ($72 million, four years). The San Diego Padres brought in Xander Bogaerts ($280 million, 11 years), and a handful of supporting cast.
MLB teams gave out a collective $3.7 billion in guarantees to 140 free agents. Starting today, we’ll find out who got their money’s worth.
|Team||Free Agents Signed||Spending|
|New York Yankees||5||$574,500,000|
|New York Mets||9||$423,166,666|
|San Diego Padres||8||$380,000,000|
|San Francisco Giants||6||$174,000,000|
|Chicago White Sox||3||$90,000,000|
|Toronto Blue Jays||4||$89,800,000|
|St. Louis Cardinals||2||$87,500,000|
|Boston Red Sox||7||$87,050,000|
|Los Angeles Angels||5||$78,250,000|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||7||$53,300,000|
|Tampa Bay Rays||1||$40,000,000|
|Kansas City Royals||5||$34,150,000|