Stephen A. Cohen didn’t expect to be in this position when the season started. Mets billionaire owner Cohen spent nearly $500 million in free agency this offseason, hoping to improve his roster from a 101-win season. Yet on Wednesday, he sat in the press conference room at Citi Field, answering questions about the plight of the fourth-place team.
“We have quality players and for some reason they’re not doing well,” Cohen said. “It’s kind of weird.”
To say it doesn’t gel is an understatement. The Mets entered Wednesday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, trailing the Atlanta Braves by 16 and a half games in the National League East and eight and a half games from the final wild card slot. They were closer in the standings to the American League’s stripped-down Oakland Athletics than to the division’s No. 1, as they plan to make an escape to Las Vegas. They lost 5-2 on Wednesday, their seventh loss in their last 10 games.
Cohen announced a surprise press conference the day before on Twittersparked speculation that George Steinbrenner would recreate the violent spectacle that was common in New York during his Yankees ownership.
Rather, Cohen seemed to have given up on the fact that the Mets were in a position to make the playoffs this season — a 12.8 percent chance of that happening, according to Fungraffs. But he sat in a chair designed to look like a baseball mitt and in front of a circular table with the Mets logo on it, both brought in specifically for the press conference, and the hasty decision was said he wouldn’t. Try to turn the team’s fortunes around.
Cohen, known for his insightful behavior as a hedge fund manager, preached patience and a focus on the long-term stability of the organization. That means manager Buck Showalter and general manager Billy Eppler will stay on for the rest of the season, Cohen said.
“I’m a patient guy,” Cohen said. “Everyone wants headlines. Everyone says, ‘Fire this person’ and ‘Fire that person.’ But I don’t think that’s how it operates. If you want to attract top talent to this organization, the last thing you should do is act impulsively. “
Cohen has admitted that he wants to hire a president of baseball operations with the aim of rebuilding the club inside and out. That remark only fuels speculation that Cohen is keen on former Brewers chairman and current adviser David Stearns. He has a role on that team and building a sustainable player development system, neither of which the Mets currently have.
Money alone will not solve the structural flaws of an organization. To do that, “we need to attract top talent so they won’t want to work for someone with a short fuse,” he said.
This means any changes Cohen makes during the season will be reflected on the roster, and based on the team’s current state, the Mets could be more of a seller than a buyer ahead of the Aug. 1 trade deadline. highly sexual.
Asked if he would consider trading right-handers Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, the team’s co-aces, if the Mets’ condition worsened, Cohen dodged the question. “They are great pitchers,” he said. “There’s a reason we brought them here.”
The reason was to win, but the Mets haven’t.
Scherzer, 38, is 7-2 with a 3.95 ERA. Suspended for 10 games Violate the league’s prohibition on the use of foreign objects in baseballs. Verlander, 40, is 2-4 with a 4.11 ERA after winning the AL Cy Young Award with the Houston Astros. He signed with the Mets to much fanfare, but his results have been uneven since a stiff shoulder put him on the injured reserve list for the season.
With Cohen out in the long run, ace pitchers are likely to be more valuable to organizations in terms of what they get out of signing them than they were on the field.
When the Mets traded veteran third baseman Eduardo Escobar to the Los Angeles Angels for two potential pitchers last week, the Mets agreed to pay Escobar’s $9.5 million salary in full. If Scherzer or Verlander were to be traded, they would almost certainly have to, and both players are earning a league-record $43.333 million this season on teams with record salaries.
“We think that money has already been spent,” Cohen said. “It is an unfortunate situation, but if we can find a way to improve our farm system and that is the way we are going, we are happy to do so.”