How Mets Owner Responded To Free Agency Question About Shohei Ohtani

Ohtani is set to hit the open market next offseason


January 31

It’s easy to envision the New York Mets signing Shohei Ohtani next Major League Baseball offseason, when the Los Angeles Angels’ two-way superstar is slated to become a free agent.

Mets owner Steve Cohen has deep pockets and a strong willingness to spend. He’ll seemingly do whatever it takes to bring a World Series title to Queens, and that could include writing a blank check for Ohtani, one of the most unique talents in MLB history.

Ohtani remains under contract with the Angels for now, though, and the Mets have the potential to be World Series contenders in 2023. It wouldn’t do Cohen much good to comment on a possible pursuit of Ohtani, even if outside observers will continue to connect the dots until Ohtani signs his next deal.

Here’s what Jon Heyman of the New York Post wrote Monday regarding Cohen’s outlook on Ohtani:

And even Cohen, reached via text, responded to an Ohtani inquiry this way: “Hard to think about next year. I’m focused on this season.”

One “Mets person” speculated to Heyman that the franchise could make Ohtani the “best-paid player in the history of sports,” regardless of whether he actually signs with New York, because their offer will drive up the Japanese phenom’s price. If another team wants to sign Ohtani, it’s going to need a boatload of cash to outbid the Mets on the open market.

Ohtani’s free agency will be fascinating, assuming he plays out this season without signing a contract extension. The 2021 American League MVP is a game-changer, on the mound and at the plate, and many experts predict he’ll land a deal in the ballpark of $500 million.

Will the Mets be the organization that backs up the Brinks truck? It wouldn’t be shocking. But Cohen and company will cross that bridge when they get to it — and then maybe buy the bridge, for good measure.

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Thumbnail photo via Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports Images
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