For Steve Cohen and the New York Mets, money is no object.
Cohen has spent lavishly on the team since acquiring it two years ago, running up an increasingly expensive tab. His aggressive spending has continued this offseason, to the point where the team's luxury tax bill now exceeds the payroll of six MLB clubs.
New York Mets Luxury Tax
As many baseball fans know, teams are penalized for spending above certain limits, aka luxury tax thresholds. As spending increases and higher limits are crossed, the penalties become more severe as teams are taxed for every dollar they go over.
The highest luxury tax threshold is jokingly referred to around the sport as the "Cohen tax," because he's the only one paying it. This soft cap was set at $290 million for the 2022 season -- $60 million more than the second-highest limit.
Sure enough, Cohen and the Mets have already blown way past that limit, surpassing $300 million in player salaries for next year. Depending on how the rest of their offseason plays out, they could end up approaching $400 million.
New York is already slated to pay at least $80 million in luxury tax penalties next year, which is more than some teams are spending on their entire payrolls. The 2023 projected payrolls of the Oakland A's, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals are currently less than that.
In Cohen's defense, most of those teams were among the worst in baseball last year and are unlikely to win a championship anytime soon. Cohen wants to win a World Series immediately and is doing whatever it takes to get one, which many owners are reluctant to do.
New York's wild spending has a good chance of paying off, as the Mets currently boast the third-best World Series odds for 2023 (+800) on FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds.
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