Steve Cohen and the New York Mets’ perilous pursuit of free agency

Aug 24, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; German tennis player Alexander Zverev (left) watches the game between the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants with Mets owner Steve Cohen (right) during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 24, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; German tennis player Alexander Zverev (left) watches the game between the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants with Mets owner Steve Cohen (right) during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
9 of 9
Next
Josh Donaldson. Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports
Josh Donaldson. Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports /

Since 2019

The data for players signed these past three seasons is largely incomplete. Who knows what Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Gerrit Cole, Zack Wheeler, and Anthony Rendon might do down the road?

But that same data pool already has built up several cautionary tales.

Prior to the 2019 season, the Red Sox resigned pitcher Nathan Eovaldi — a hero of the 2018 World Series — for four years at $68 million. In the first three of those seasons, Eovaldi has been limited by injuries and COVID-19 to a total of 298 innings. He’s 15-12 with a 3.96 ERA. He was 2-2 in four starts during the 2021 postseason.

The Twins paid Josh Donaldson $92 million for four seasons prior to the 2020 season. Last year, Donaldson hit .247. He was injured and did not play when the Twins lost to Houston in the 2020 postseason.

Coming off an impressive 2020, the Braves signed Marcel Ozuna for four years at $65 million. They got 48 games of a .213 average plus seven home runs, followed by a domestic violence suspension. Ozuna remains a Braves commitment — to the tune of $53 million — through 2025, and is at least tentatively in the team’s plans for 2022.

Finally comes the matter of Trevor Bauer and the Dodgers. L.A. signed Bauer for three years at $102 million prior to the 2021 season. Bauer was 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA through late June, when word of legal issues involving him broke.

Next. Why Josh Donaldson blasted the NBA All-Star Game. dark

Bauer has since been cleared of criminal wrongdoing, but (as of this writing) MLB has not yet cleared him to return to the field and he is not listed on the team’s depth chart entering 2022.