June 15, 2024

Mets owner Steve Cohen: Ohtani’s agent ‘never reached out to me personally’

The proven fact that Shohei Ohtani, baseball’s greatest star, didn’t find yourself enjoying for the New York Mets and Steve Cohen, baseball’s richest owner, shouldn’t come as a lot of a shock. Within the business, many anticipated Ohtani to keep on the West Coast. And ultimately, he did simply that, agreeing to a take care of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday for 10 years and $700 million.

“The agent never reached out to me personally,” Cohen informed The Athletic, “and I think that’s pretty telling.”

Indeed, if a star’s illustration — particularly within the case of Ohtani — by no means talks with a crew’s possession, that’s a surefire indication that issues by no means went past a preliminary stage, at most. Thus, studying between the traces, Ohtani in all probability by no means had a lot curiosity in enjoying for New York.

The Mets plan to be aggressive in 2024 whereas valuing the long run. They are usually not one participant away from making a deep playoff run. Although the Mets have stars reminiscent of Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor, pitching lingers because the membership’s major want.

In the previous, Cohen has demonstrated a willingness to spend lavishly. Last season, the Mets sported the very best payroll in baseball historical past. In what’s been a sluggish offseason throughout the business earlier than Saturday’s information, the Mets have but to signal a participant to a multiyear deal as they steadiness each their short-term and long-term objectives. But New York is making an attempt to land a minimum of one big-time pitcher particularly.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the 25-year-old star pitcher from Japan, stays essentially the most smart free-agent match for the Mets. Last week, Cohen and president of baseball operations David Stearns flew to Japan to meet with Yamamoto and his family. Stearns stated the assembly went properly. However, competitors exists for Yamamoto, who was anticipated to fly to the U.S. this weekend to begin taking conferences with groups.

Yamamoto aligns with the Mets’ objective of being a constant winner within the years to come as a result of he’s nonetheless within the early years of his prime. At the commerce deadline, the Mets made offers through which they basically purchased prospects in alternate for Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander to assist their farm system, which is enhancing. Cohen has lengthy carried an affinity for working as one thing just like the Dodgers of the East Coast, admiring Los Angeles’ constant profitable and skill to frequently churn out homegrown expertise and assist its new gamers enhance. Ohtani’s presence on the Dodgers’ roster will make it that a lot more durable to get by way of them within the National League.

The Mets had been by no means getting Ohtani, who’s represented by Nez Balelo of CAA. If they didn’t assume he had curiosity in New York, then expending a whole lot of time and power on his free company would’ve been fruitless. However, they continue to be a serious risk to land Yamamoto, one other participant who would theoretically assist them now and sooner or later. Judging from their pursuit of Yamamoto, the Mets are prepared to spend big on that type of player — the participant simply has to need to play for the Mets and be in New York, too.

(Photo of Steve Cohen: Brad Penner / USA Today)