New York Mets can, should fall back on billionaire owner Steve Cohen

Welp, so much for that idea. Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the highly sought-after Japanese ace, has signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, leaving the New York Mets empty-handed. Despite owner Steve Cohen’s efforts and a full-court press for Yamamoto, the Mets failed to secure the coveted pitcher. This setback has once again highlighted the struggles and frustrations of being a Mets fan.

Since Cohen took over as owner, there was hope that the Mets would finally turn things around. While the club hasn’t done everything right, Cohen’s commitment and willingness to spend money were seen as game-changers. With a passionate fanbase and a market large enough to attract big-name free agents, the Mets seemed poised for success.

But what sets the Dodgers apart from the Mets? If you strip away the organizational stability, player development, and the past decade of success, the foundations of the two teams aren’t too different. Is it possible for the Mets to leapfrog their cross-town rival, the New York Yankees, the way Manchester City usurped Manchester United?

The answer to that question is complicated. The Dodgers have accounted for more than half of all money spent in free agency so far, making it challenging for the Mets to compete on that front. However, the Mets were the big spenders last year, and while it didn’t work out as planned, the equation of a big market and a hedge fund owner should theoretically lead to success.

But building a contender is not as simple as throwing money around. The Dodgers may have set a new bar with their signings of Shohei Ohtani and Yamamoto, but the rise of billionaires and private equity groups with unlimited funds creates an imbalance in the league. Eventually, smaller-market teams may struggle to keep up, especially in a sport without a salary cap.

So, what should the Mets do? They should focus on overpaying deserving players rather than splurging aimlessly. Cody Bellinger, for example, had a positive impact on the Cubs’ locker room last season and could be worth an overpay. Additionally, the Mets should consider investing in younger pitchers like Blake Snell, who is still in his 20s and wouldn’t cost the team any prospects.

While some may question the sustainability of the Dodgers’ spending spree, it’s clear that it will have repercussions for smaller-market teams. Fortunately for the Mets, they are not among the least wealthy teams in the league. However, they must find a way to navigate the challenges and make smart investments to compete with the big spenders.

In the end, the Mets’ pursuit of Yoshinobu Yamamoto may have ended in disappointment, but it’s not the end of the road for the team. With an owner like Steve Cohen and a dedicated fanbase, the Mets have the potential to rise above their struggles and find success. It may take time and strategic moves, but the possibility is there. So, despite the setback, Mets fans can still hold on to hope for a brighter future.

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