Mets Billionaire owner Steve Cohen has made his impact in Queens, but not enough.
The Mets missed out on George Springer. They missed out on Trevor Bauer. Those were acceptable free agent losses, especially given the price tag and rapid movement of the market. But at this point, it’s time for Cohen to pony up to improve the Mets rotation.
While New York’s starting pitching remains a strong point, they recently dealt Steven Matz away to the Toronto Blue Jays. With that in mind, who will be replacing the southpaw on the mound in just a few months? Well, the answer isn’t so simple now that Cohen dodged another hefty paycheck with James Paxton.
Paxton signed with the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, leaving the Mets in the dust.
Paxton wasn’t the only option available and perhaps the Mets have intel we don’t. But, for now, it appears Cohen and the Mets front office didn’t offer Paxton close to the same deal the small market Mariners did, which is a bad look in every sense of the phrase.
Mets fans are used to the greedy ways of the Wilpons, so it’s not surprising that their first inclination is to come to the defense of Cohen, their first owner in generations who’s shown any willingness to spend. And yes, the Mets have upgraded in several facets this offseason — from the bullpen to adding Francisco Lindor via trade. But let’s not forget, this is a team projected to win the NL East per PECOTA next season. To make that dream a reality, they’re a few minor pieces away.
As Heyman notes, Jake Odorizzi is an intriguing fit. He’s just one season removed from a 15-win, 3.51 ERA campaign. Last year was an overall disaster, but he only pitched in four games. That sample size is small enough to assume the Mets would be able to right the ship, and most possible suitors are probably thinking something similar.
The time to act is now. The Mets have star power. Cohen must pay up to fill out the roster with above-average talent, rather than taking scraps from the bargain bin when the time comes.