Report: Financial cost helped deter Mets from blockbuster trades

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have often drawn criticism for not making the types of big moves that high-revenue teams make. Unfortunately for Mets fans, the reputation for being tight with money might have cost them a shot at acquiring Francisco Lindor or Starling Marte this offseason.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Mets made a significant push this winter to trade for Lindor. While New York indicated that the cost of prospects deterred them from acquiring the star shortstop, others said that the financial cost played a huge role.

Lindor is owed $17.5 million this season and will be arbitration-eligible for the final time next offseason. Mookie Betts set the record this offseason for a player in their final year of arbitration at $27 million and Cleveland’s star shortstop could look to make $25-plus million next year.

The Mets were also heavily connected to Marte this offseason, a trade that would have filled the team’s need for a center fielder. He is owed $11.5 million for the upcoming season, with a $2.5 million buyout for 2021.

The contract proved to be an issue for the Mets, who reportedly wanted the Pittsburgh Pirates to take back Jed Lowrie’s $9 million salary or Yoenis Cespedes’ $11 million contract.

The Mets also heavily weighed the cost of sacrificing more top prospects and the money spent on free-agent pitchers. However, it’s clear that owner Fred Wilpon remains uncomfortable with spending the big money when it could make the difference in a big move.

Mets fans hoped these days would be behind them in the years to come with billionaire Steve Cohen set to buy the team. Now that the sale is off, fans will continue wondering if Wilpon’s tight pockets will keep the Mets from reaching their potential.