Steve Cohen’s vast wealth isn’t just for players. His first priority is expanding the New York Mets’ small analytics department.
Steve Cohen is not going to come in and wildly spend on big-name players. The New York Mets‘ new owner has built his hedge-fund empire on the back of smart investments. Sometimes that means paying big money for the right name, but more often than not, it’s about the smaller investments.
That’s why, according to Joe Pantorno of AMNY, Cohen’s top priority is expanding the Mets’ lackluster analytics department.
Advanced analytics never took off in Queens. The Wilpons were vehemently against the idea of numbers controlling a baseball team. Despite calls from the likes of Omar Minaya, Sandy Alderson, and Brodie Van Wagenen, they refused to expand. As a result, the Mets now have the second smallest analytics department in MLB.
When fans ask why the Cardinals, Yankees, A’s, Dodgers, and Rays are always able to find nobodies that become key contributors, there’s always one answer: the analytics department.
A strong analytics department helps teams identify players on the verge of breaking out, who are being held back, and who are overperforming. For instance, the Mets’ top move under Van Wagenen was the trade for J.D. Davis. The man behind that move, Mets assistant general manager Adam Guttridge, heads the organization’s analytics department and once ran his own independent MLB analytics company.
However, one man can’t save this team. The Mets need to beef up the analytics department to rival those of the elite ballclubs in MLB. That’ll help them identify top free-agent targets and avoid the massive free-agent busts.
When Cohen knows he’s making a smart investment, he’s willing to spend the money. First thing’s first, before Cohen can spend on players, he needs to build the department that can identify those smart investments.