Rob Manfred: Steve Cohen's spending 'emphasizes a problem in baseball'


MLB commissioner Rob Manfred noted Mets owner Steve Cohen’s commitment to winning, but also noted multiple potential issues with his level of spending.

“What Steve spent in the offseason was completely consistent with all of our rules. He perfectly had every right to spend those dollars,” Manfred told the New York Post during a live recording of “The Show” podcast with Joel Sherman and Jon Heyman. “There are actually real benefits for the game associated with that spending. It does energize the Mets’ fan base.

“The downside is spending at that level, particularly at a level that kind of steps away from everybody else, emphasizes a problem that baseball, since I started in 1987, has grappled with. And that is the disparity in the revenues that are generated in our markets produces a challenge in terms of competitive balance.”

Manfred has voiced this concern before in response to Cohen’s historic spending, which has included big contracts to Francisco Lindor, Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, and almost Carlos Correa. A counter to Manfred’s argument would be the revenue sharing that teams like the Mets dish out, which led to a low-spending, borderline negligent behaving franchise like the A’s being the fifth-most profitable organization in the sport last year, per Forbes.

Still, Manfred and other MLB owners voice concerns about Cohen’s spending behavior, to which Cohen hasn’t paid much mind to. But Manfred also made sure to give Cohen his flowers for his commitment to the team he took over three years ago.

“To his credit, and I meant this: Steve wants to win,” Manfred said. “That’s a good thing.”

Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1

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