Mets Make Budget Cuts, Reduce Staff Before Opening Day: Report


Getty The Mets laid off about 25 employees from their business operations staff, reports Front Office Sports.

The New York Mets laid off about 25 members of its business operations staff on Tuesday, March 19, according to Front Office Sports. The job cuts came just over a week before the Mets begin their season against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field on March 28.

Front Office Sports reported that the moves to reduce staff were led by M. Scott Havens, who the Mets hired in November to be their new president of business operations. The layoffs are reported to represent a single-digit percentage of the Mets’ overall business-side personnel.

“Over the last several years, many of our departments have grown well beyond sustainable levels, and larger than our peer group with Major League Baseball,” Havens said in a staff memo obtained by Front Office Sports. “While I understand this type of change is difficult and impacts all of us, these decisions were a necessary step in helping us evolve as an organization, and more importantly, to set us up for long-term growth and success.”

Billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen bought the Mets in 2020 and immediately became the richest owner in MLB. The Mets have been big-spenders under Cohen, and enter the 2024 season with the league’s second-highest payroll ($283 million) behind only the New York Yankees, according to Spotrac.

However, some of Cohen’s biggest moves have not worked as planned. Free agent signings Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander were both dealt by the Mets last season during the team’s trade deadline selloff on their way to finishing 75–87 to miss the playoffs. But the Mets owner is feeling good about talented prospects they acquired and could soon reach the big leagues.

Steve Cohen: Mets Farm System Is ‘Starting to Look Stacked’

Outfielders Ryan Clifford and Drew Gilbert came to the Mets last year in a trade that sent Verlander to the Houston Astros. ranks Gilbert as the organization’s No. 2 prospect behind 2022 first-round pick Jett Williams, while Clifford is ranked No. 4. Ranked No. 3 is Luisangel Acuna, an infielder the Mets acquired from the Texas Rangers for Scherzer.

“Listen, we’ve got another draft coming up in a couple months. For the first time, I would say that we’re starting to look stacked,” Cohen said March 17, per SNY. “I don’t think I ever would have used that term before. That’s a good feeling. Between that and our ability to use our resources in the free agency market, that’s a pretty powerful combination, so I’m hopeful.”

Cohen is also excited about Mets pitching prospects, which include Christian Scott, Blake Tidwell, Mike Vasil, Brandon Sproat, Dominic Hamel, Tyler Stuart, and Nolan McLean.

“We hadn’t developed pitching in a long time, and for the first time it looks like we have depth down there,” Cohen said, per SNY. “We have six, seven, eight pitchers, that could potentially be our next starters, and to me that’s exciting because pitching is so freaking expensive in baseball today.”

Mets Remain Linked to Free Agent Slugger JD Martinez

In Tuesday’s spring training game, the Mets sent out a lineup that beat reporter Anthony DiComo said was “quite likely to be the one they use on Opening Day.” That lineup batted first baseman Pete Alonso third and second baseman Jeff McNeil in the cleanup spot. McNeil is not your traditional clean up hitter as someone who instead excels as a high-average contact hitter when swinging at his best.

Signing free agent slugger JD Martinez would give the Mets a more traditional power threat to bat cleanup behind Alonso. Martinez is a six-time All Star who hit 33 homers last season for the Los Angeles Dodgers and has hit more than 30 home runs in five seasons. Jon Heyman reported March 12 that the Mets and Martinez have “mutual interest” but the slugger remains without a home as the MLB season officially began March 20 in South Korea.

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