New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has built the most expensive team in baseball history, sending shock waves throughout the sport and destroying previous payroll records with an unprecedented three-year spending binge. His additions have included two future Hall of Famers in Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander and two other possible Hall of Famers in Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa (pending conversations over his physical, which concerned the Mets after it scuttled his deal with San Francisco).
In his first two years, Cohen committed over $714 million in future salaries and was rewarded with a 101-win team in 2022. That was merely the calm before the storm. This offseason, the Mets have committed $806 million in free agency, including giving Verlander a two-year deal that matched Scherzer's annual salary ($43.33 million) as the highest-paid players in the game, re-signing center fielder Brandon Nimmo and closer Edwin Diaz, signing Japanese star right-hander Kodai Senga ($75 million) -- and, then, because one potential Hall of Fame shortstop wasn't enough, they swooped in for Correa, though the saga of waiting for his signing to become official is still playing out.
The Mets' 2023 estimated payroll, including a luxury tax bill that will exceed $100 million: around half a billion dollars.
We'll have all offseason to evaluate the team and predict whether the Mets will even beat the Braves in the National League East. In the meantime, let's look back at a few other of the most expensive teams in major league history -- and what lessons can be drawn from what happened to them.