Assuming Carlos Correa passes his physical — not here to be a downer, Mets fans, but it has to be said — the Amazins will have a projected $384 million payroll in 2022.
That means owner Steve Cohen will need to pony up about $111 million in luxury tax payments, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. Which means his tax bill will be on par with/bigger than the payrolls of a third of the teams in baseball.
We’ll ask the question again: Could you build a team on Cohen’s tax bill and then make the postseason? We’re going to say yes. The Rays could definitely do it. And surely others could as well.
In fact, we have an idea. Listen up, Rob Manfred. Take all of Cohen’s money and launch a 31st team this season. Put it in Florida or Texas — the lack of income tax will incentivize players to hop aboard. Have them play a balanced schedule against the entire sport — like five games against each team, give or take. If at the end of the year Team No. 31’s record is better than any of the wild card winners in either league, they’re in. Make it happen.
Last thought: I know we do the whole “What if George Steinbrenner was still alive” thing way too much around here. But I am genuinely curious to know what he would have done when faced with Cohen. The Yankees have money. But they do not have hedge fund/rare art collector thing. My initial guess: Steinbrenner would have general manager Brian Cashman trying to make every wild trade imaginable. How could the Pirates turn down the entire Somerset Patriots roster for Bryan Reynolds? Shohei Ohtani AND Mike Trout? Why not.
Last, last thought: The Post’s Jon Heyman is becoming Cohen’s Ahmad Rashad, isn’t he?
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]