Game On…with Rob Kriete! – NOVEMBER 29

Happy holidays, everyone! It is the season of excess for many of us. But, whether we are overeating or overspending, the holidays always seem to be about a lot, with the help of family and friends.  Hey, I am even done with my holiday shopping.  The New York Mets, however, seem to have just begun.

Max Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, just signed a record contract with the Metropolitans, even at the age of 37.  His new three-year contract pays him over $40 million a year and brings the Mets payroll to a record high for the team.

Teaming Max Scherzer with the ultra-elite Jacob deGrom gives New York an amazing one-two punch at the top of their starting rotation.  Max signed with the Mets the same week the team signed veteran star outfielder Sterling Marte and outfielder Mark Canha and infielder Eduardo Escobar.  Under the leadership of relatively new owner, Steve Cohen, the New York Mets are spending money like, well, the Yankees teams of the past.

The team is not yet done spending money to make the Mets competitive for a World Series. The season of excess is clearly happening in Queens.

The strategy seems to sign veteran players to shorter contracts with higher annual values to allow time for Mets prospects to become starting players.  It will cost the Mets, and their billionaire owner, a lot of money for these first few years.  But, it allows the team to “reset the clock” on Major League Baseball’s luxury tax which scales higher every year a team’s payroll goes above it.  Once a team spends a season below the luxury tax cap, the scale begins again.  From an outside perspective, it seems that this is the plan the Mets owner wants to employ.  And, he has the finances to make it happen.

MLB will most likely change the nature and rules of the luxury tax for teams this offseason, but the Mets seemed undeterred.  Steve Cohen is pushing for a championship in Queens in the next three years.  Mets fans have been waiting since 1986.

I surely know.

Even as the Mets spend all this money, the team is only as good as the wins they accrue on the field.

Have a great holiday season, everyone.  Eat a little less, spend a few dollars less, perhaps, but have fun with your family and friends even more!

I will be taking next week off but my column will return just before the close of 2021.

Be safe, everyone!