Mets' projected payroll soars past $300M after latest spending spree

Mary DeCicco / Major League Baseball / Getty

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen will have quite the competitive balance tax bill next year.

Cohen continued to show little regard for the tax line Thursday, reportedly re-signing center fielder Brandon Nimmo to an eight-year, $162-million contract and adding reliever David Robertson on a one-year, $10-million deal. These deals pushed the Mets' projected 2023 payroll above the $300-million mark, and likely into record territory.

For tax purposes, the Mets' projected Opening Day payroll sits at an MLB-record $333 million, according to Spotrac. If that number holds, Cohen will have to pay a $65-million penalty next winter for exceeding the highest tax line. The current record tax bill is reportedly around $47 million, which the Los Angeles Dodgers paid after running a $310.6-million tax payroll this year.

Cohen, whose net worth is estimated at $17.5 billion by Forbes, has now spent almost $400 million on free agents since the offseason began.

Mets' offseason signings

Player Pos. Contract
Edwin Diaz RP 5-year; $102M
Brandon Nimmo OF 8-year; $162M
Jose Quintana SP 2-year; $26M
David Robertson RP 1-year; $10M
Justin Verlander SP 2-year; $86.6M

Since becoming majority owner of the Mets at the end of the 2020 season, Cohen's consistently opened his wallet. Last winter, he splurged on Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, and Mark Canha, while also inking Francisco Lindor to a record $341-million extension shortly after acquiring him from Cleveland. Scherzer's contract gave him the highest average annual value in MLB history at $43.3 million, a number Cohen matched when signing Verlander on Wednesday.

The Mets might not be done spending, as they're still pursuing star Japanese pitcher Kodai Senga, SNY's Andy Martino reports.

The Mets were one of six teams that paid into the luxury tax in 2022. Last year, their tax bill was a paltry $22.5 million.

Mets' projected payroll soars past $300M after latest spending spree
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