How Steve Cohen is changing the way MLB owners spend

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

The shocking signing of Carlos Correa makes two truths about these new-look Mets perfectly clear: Steve Cohen is a dream come true for fans in Queens.

And Steve Cohen is the nightmare other baseball owners have feared.

With the addition of Correa on a 12-year, $315 million deal, Cohen has bought a roster of baseball Lamborghinis. Each member of the Mets' projected infield has at least two All-Star appearances. The No. 1 and No. 2 starting pitchers should be unanimous selections for the Hall of Fame. The Mets' closer struck out half of the hitters he faced last season, before getting the biggest contract ever for a reliever. The Mets fans who suffered through the years when the Wilpon family sometimes conducted business as if it were running a small-market team are rejoicing at the big-spending tendencies of the owner referred to on social media as Uncle Steve.

To many other owners, however, Cohen is like the new neighbor who has covered his lawn with the brightest holiday lights; hell, it's as if Cohen has thrown up scaffolding to account for every ornament in the store. Cohen is heightening the disparity between the haves and have-nots, creating new expectations for his team -- and also for how other owners should spend.

The explanations of Boston Red Sox leadership for why they couldn't possibly afford Mookie Betts or Xander Bogaerts sound even more ridiculous now. And even on the morning that Hal Steinbrenner introduced Aaron Judge as the new Yankees captain with a record nine-year deal, Cohen grabbed the headlines. He has blown up the context for what it means to be a big spender in New York; the city's baseball skyline has been completely altered.

"There's no doubt, they will be a draw," one rival evaluator said. "Everybody will want to take their shot at them. This will be like Michael Jordan's Bulls, in the '90s. The expectations are off the charts."