With the New York Mets poised for a significant transitional phase ahead of the 2025 season, owner Steve Cohen has his sights set on long-term success rather than temporary gratification. In a candid discussion with players, coaches, and reporters this Wednesday, Cohen delved into his strategic approach that refuses to settle for an "embarrassing" performance next season, while acknowledging the need for team resilience in the face of potential challenges.
Tough Trades, Tempered Expectations
In the backdrop of the team's recent struggles, including a string of stunning trades of veteran players, Cohen addressed his unmet expectations and laid out a clear vision for the year ahead.
"I think the expectations were really high this year and my guess is next year they'll be a lot lower," he said. His pragmatic perspective includes an awareness of the challenges that could shape the offseason, particularly in relation to the team's requirement for quality starting pitching.
However, Cohen is not about to allow high spending to cloud his judgement. "I don't want to roll a team out that we're going to be embarrassed about. But, we also know that spending a fortune doesn't guarantee a trip to the playoffs," he added.
A Strategy for Sustainability
Explaining his recent decision to trade star pitchers Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and others, Cohen highlighted his focus on the long-term success of the franchise. While acknowledging the diminished postseason odds, he admitted, "I've said before -- hope is not a strategy.
I wanted sustainability." The substantial returns gained from these trades were another factor in the decision-making process. Cohen said, "We thought we got a great return for the people we ended up trading. We weren't just going to do deals for the sake of doing deals." He added that the trades were a reflection of his strategic thinking, focusing more on the "intermediate, long term" rather than just the immediate future.
Players Take the Lead
Cohen made a point to address the differing career stages of his traded players, particularly Verlander and Scherzer. Recognizing their ambitions to win now, he expressed respect for their decisions based on his inability to promise an aggressive free agency next year.
Amid these transitions, the Mets' owner was emphatic in protecting his manager, Buck Showalter, from blame regarding the team's recent lackluster performance. "I don't put it on Buck," he stated firmly. "I put it on the players. I think we're hitting in some bad luck. It's kind of unfair to put it on the manager."
The New York Mets Start Dismantling Their Historic 2023 Lineup
Boston Red Sox beats New York Mets 12-5
Tampa Bay Rays and New York Mets super performances