4. New York Mets
New Mets owner Steve Cohen made headlines with his avowed willingness to spend money on talent. He first lived up to his word by signing shortstop Francisco Lindor — acquired in a trade with Cleveland the previous winter — to an eye-catching 10-year, $341 million extension through 2031.
Then this week he hijacked Carlos Correa away from the Twins — by way of the Giants — for nine years and $315 million.
The Lindor deal is not only the richest in Mets history, it’s also the richest in terms of average annual value, ringing in at $34.1 million annually through the length of the contract.
That fact notwithstanding, Lindor projects to be only the third most expensive player on the 2023 Mets roster. Pitchers Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer were both signed this past winter to contracts (Scherzer for three years, Verlander for two) that will pay them $43.3 million in 2023.
Despite that, Lindor’s contract beats those two new additions in both raw money and average annual value.
Cohen’s impact could hardly be more visible. The Mets carried a team-record $159 million in 2019, the last pre-Covid season before Cohen took over. He raised that to $195 million in 2021, then to $264 million last year.
The 2023 projection had been to surpass $333 million, more than double what the team spent on talent just four seasons ago. With Correa’s signing, even that projection will have to be revised.