Alex Rodriguez says he would have increased Mets’ payroll to $225 million


Not that it matters much now—Steve Cohen is a John Hancock away from owning the Mets—but Alex Rodriguez, who finished runner-up to Cohen in this summer’s Mets sweepstakes, claims he had big plans for the team he grew up rooting for.

"I thought that the Mets did—and do—have an opportunity to be one of the great franchises around the world, with an incredible fan base and we were really excited to take payroll from like $150 [million] to $225 [million] and bring a championship back to the city of New York,” the slugger-turned entrepreneur said during a Q&A Thursday at the Long Island Association’s Virtual Fall Luncheon. The Mets already boast one of the league’s higher payrolls—only five clubs outspent them in 2020—but it sounds as though Rodriguez would have been more than willing to go over the luxury tax if it meant bringing a World Series trophy to the Big Apple.

Should the sale fall through—the Mets still need approval from at least 23 of the league’s 30 teams—Rodriguez and fiancée Jennifer Lopez have vowed to match Cohen’s winning bid of $2.4 billion, though it would be a stunner if it came to that. A-Rod’s dream of owning the Mets is all but dead, but if another team became available, would the 45-year-old pounce?

“I wasn’t looking to acquire a team, [but] when the Mets became available, we became interested,” explained the three-time American League MVP in comments transcribed by SNY’s Alex Smith. “Jennifer thought this would be great as well. I enjoyed the experience, so never say never.”

If big spending is what Mets fans want, Cohen is much better equipped than A-Rod in that regard, boasting a net worth of over $14 billion. Needless to say, I doubt the 132nd-richest individual on Earth (per Forbes) is losing sleep over the luxury tax.

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