Implications of Mets' Payroll is Crazier Than You'd Think

Implications of Mets' Payroll is Crazier Than You'd Think


Steve Cohen sure knows how to run up a tab.

The billionaire owner of the New York Mets has had no problem spending money since taking over the team two years ago. He's effectively trying to buy a championship, pushing the team's payroll to record-breaking levels in the process.

New York Mets Payroll

The Mets had the highest payroll in baseball in 2022 at $288 million -- just $2 million below the top luxury tax threshold. This soft limit is known as the "Steve Cohen Tax," since he's the only one close to paying it.

Not surprisingly, that hasn't stopped New York from continuing to spend this offseason after the team's shocking exit in the NL Wild Card Round. The Mets have already inked Justin Verlander to a two-year, $86.6 million deal and also added Jose Quintana on a two-year, $26 million pact.

These signings have raised New York's payroll to a whopping $298 million, zooming past the aforementioned Steve Cohen tax. With the Mets getting taxed 90% for every dollar they go over $290 million, their luxury tax bill is already $34 million and counting.

$34 million is a lot, even by baseball standards. That's more than all but a handful of players make per season and isn't too far off the lowest payrolls in the sport.

The crazy part is that the offseason has only just begun in earnest, so New York presumably still has several moves to make. The Mets are virtually guaranteed to end up with a payroll north of $300 million, which would make them the most expensive team in baseball history.

New York fans are hopeful that Cohen's investment will pay off, as the team is still searching for its first championship since 1986. The Mets are currently tied with the Yankees for the third-best World Series odds (+900) on FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds, so at least they seem to be spending their money wisely.

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