New York Mets fans are ecstatic over their new Christmas present. Billionaire owner Steve Cohen got them ace pitcher and future hall of famer Justin Verlander in a two year 86 million dollar contract. The Mets could now end up spending as much as $300 million on payroll for 2023.
In 2022, the New York Mets crashed in the last few weeks of the season and lost the division title to the Atlanta Braves.
The acquisition of Justin Verlander by the Mets comes less than one week after the team lost its home grown fan favorite pitcher Jacob DeGrom. Verlander is five years older than DeGrom, but DeGrom missed most of the last 2 seasons to in jury and failed the team with terrible performances in the last week of the season that cost them the division title.
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Jacob DeGrom left the Mets for a five year $185 million deal with the Texas Rangers. That is more than $5 million a year less than Justin Verlander will get. But it is for three years longer. The Mets may not have wanted to take the risk of a long term contract. The two year deal that Verlander took was more realistic.
Unlike Jacob DeGrom, Justin Verlander had a career year after missing an entire season to injury. Verlander won the Cy Young Award for the best pitcher in the American League with a 1.75 ERA.
Steve Cohen bought the New York Mets from Jewish real estate mogul Fred Wilpon at the end of 2020 for $2.45 billion.
“We’ve made a lot of progress. I would love to win the World Series – that would be fantastic,” said Cohen in a recent interview. “There’s no guarantees we’ll get there. Like I said, only one team can win every year but you have to set high goals otherwise you just aren’t going to stretch and try and achieve things that others may think are difficult or impossible. That’s what I like to do and that is the type of thing I do in everything I do. I think that’s the right approach.”