The big news regarding the Mets this week has nothing to do with what’s happened on the diamond, but rather in the front office. David Stearns is set to be the organization’s first-ever President of Baseball Operations.
According to SNY’s Andy Martino, Stearns’ start date with the Mets is October 2nd. Sides agreed to a five-year deal as they work toward a World Series title and consistently competitive baseball in Queens. But at the original time of these reports, financial terms weren’t disclosed.
Bill Madden of the NY Daily News is reporting Stearns’ annual salary will match Dodgers President of Baseball Operations, Andrew Friedman:
Hearing Stearns deal with the Mets is $10m a year equallng
the Dodgers Friedman as highest paid Baseball Ops chief in the game
— billmadden1954 (@bmadden1954) September 13, 2023
This is chump change for Steve Cohen. However, that’s still a hefty price tag to pay for someone who will never suit up and take the field. But then again, Stearns’ impact on the organization will be far-reaching between the big leagues, farm system, overall baseball operations, etc.
This is also another example of Cohen not letting things he can control get in the way of something he wants to do. He’s clearly coveted Stearns as a baseball executive for years. Since he did have conversations with other teams, Cohen wasn’t going to let money be a potential roadblock.
The Mets fielded the most expensive roster in baseball history this season. Unfortunately, between player salaries and luxury tax, Cohen spent about $500 million on sub-.500 baseball. But, such is life. Even with those gaudy numbers, Stearns’ reported salary would rank quite highly on the payroll if he was a player.
If we look at this year’s payroll, Stearns would rank as the 14th highest-paid player on the Mets’ ledger. The following players are making more: Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Francisco Lindor, Starling Marte, Brandon Nimmo, Kodai Senga, Pete Alonso, Jose Quintana, Edwin Diaz, Carlos Carrasco, Robinson Cano, Mark Canha, and James McCann.
There’s plenty of work that needs to be done on the Mets’ 2024 roster. But as it currently stands, only nine players are set to be paid more than Stearns. Those players are Lindor, Marte, Nimmo, Senga, Diaz, Quintana, and Jeff McNeil. Of course, we need to add the retained salaries of Scherzer and Verlander to this list.
Cohen likely views Stearns’ salary as an investment that’ll hopefully pay off handsomely in the near future. But still, it’s nothing to scoff at. What he’ll reportedly be earning shows just how important his position is in the eyes of ownership.