Most of the attention for the New York Mets has been on Steve Cohen’s spending habits this offseason, and for good reason.
Cohen has proven that winning means far more to him than any bottom line. The Mets have signed Justin Verlander, Jose Quintana, Kodai Senga, and David Robertson. Brandon Nimmo and Edwin Diaz inked long term extensions. Payroll is not just at an unprecedented level for any major league franchise, but Cohen is blowing through the luxury tax as though it was a stop sign on a deserted street.
New York Mets quietly building future as well
That spending spree has also caused something else to slide under the radar. The Mets have seven picks in the first four rounds – their original four, as well as compensation picks after they were unable to sign Brandon Sproat and additional picks due to losing Chris Bassitt and Jacob deGrom.
The pick for Sproat will fall between the third and fourth rounds, while their selections for losing Bassitt and deGrom will come between the end of the fourth round and beginning of the fifth. Although the Mets first round pick slid back ten spots, it is still a solid haul.
These picks also have another purpose. While Cohen is not going to shy away from spending in free agency or when it comes to extending the Mets’ own players, that strategy does not always lead to a sustainable contender. Teams need to have young blood in the lineup while prospects can help to bring in those other players needed to contend.
The Mets still need to hit on those draft picks. That capital will mean nothing if the players selected do not pan out. But it shows that there is a plan in place that does not necessarily rely upon Cohen’s checkbook. The Mets may be willing to spend anything it takes, but they are also finding a way to restock their farm system as well.
The New York Mets have generated a great deal of attention as they are spending money this offseason. That is not going to be their only means of success.