Between re-signing Aaron Judge and reeling in Carlos Rodon, the Yankees had a huge offseason. Those moves alone will cost Hank Steinbrenner more than $500 million. The Bombers didn’t generate the most headlines this winter, though, thanks to Steve Cohen and the Mets.
Have the Mets taken over as the Kings of New York when it comes to spending? ESPN’s Jeff Passan certainly thinks so. He didn’t mince his words when talking about it on the Pat McAfee Show, either.
They were discussing Shohei Ohtani’s impending free agency. As long as he doesn’t sign an extension, both the Mets and Yankees will be connected to the two-way superstar until he finds a long-term home. After it was suggested both New York City teams will offer Ohtani “a billion dollars”, Passan immediately responded by saying the Mets might and the Yankees wouldn’t.
As if that wasn’t enough, he went on to call the Yankees the “little sister” of spending in New York. Check it out (FYI, there’s some salty language in here):
OH SHIT @JeffPassan ✈️✈️#PMSLive pic.twitter.com/VzsQtWG5mQ
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) February 27, 2023
Passan is lots of things. He’s one of the premier baseball insiders on social media. Many go so far as saying that if the news doesn’t come from him, then it’s not true yet. Outside of dropping news bombs, he doesn’t hesitate when it comes to trolling others.
This is just another example of that. However, this isn’t the first time Passan has publicly roasted the Yankees when comparing them to the Mets’ spending habits.
Is it really warranted, though? As I said at the top of this article, the Yankees have committed more than $500 million in player contracts in the past few months. While the Mets will set a record for payroll in 2023, they spent about the same in future commitments to players as their NYC counterpart this winter.
But if Cohen wasn’t running the Mets the way he is, would Steinbrenner be willing to spend the way New York just did? Cohen’s desire to do what it takes to put a winner on the field has drawn ire from other owners. It’s also put pressure on some to up the ante themselves.
The Judge situation was inevitable. He had a record-breaking year, and the Yankees didn’t want to lose him. But if Cohen isn’t flexing his financial muscle across town, do the Yankees also go after and land Rodon? Who knows.
Either way, these squads are both at the top of the payroll standings heading into 2023. They’re also expected to be legit World Series contenders, according to Baseball Prospectus. Even if Steinbrenner only started spending more because of Cohen, it’s good for baseball. And, more importantly, it’s good for New York baseball.
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.