Steve Cohen is absurdly wealthy, surprisingly charming and, it certain seems, diligently dedicated to his new endeavor.
What he’s not, is Rookie Owner of the Year.
For as a lot enthusiasm because the Mets’ new large boss has generated among the many jewel franchise’s rabid fan base, as a lot on-field success as his membership has loved, Cohen additionally has managed, inadvertently, to rehabilitate the fame of his predecessors, the Wilpons. It seems that gargantuan errors weren’t unique to the earlier house owners: Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz.
Perhaps the largest doozy but got here to a head on Sunday, shortly after one other loss by the massive league workforce at Citi Field, when the Mets introduced their failure to sign top draft pick Kumar Rocker, infuriating those self same rabid followers who couldn’t consider their success when, precisely three weeks prior, the Mets selected the Vanderbilt right-hander with the tenth choice.
As first reported by The Post on July 27, the Mets held issues about Rocker’s pitching elbow following a bodily examination, Rocker’s camp, headed by adviser Scott Boras, disputed these issues, and so they by no means got here near a decision.
“This is clearly not the outcome we had hoped for and wish Kumar nothing but success moving forward,” appearing basic supervisor Zack Scott stated in a press release, and that the Mets make use of an appearing GM harkens again to their different epic blunder beneath Cohen and president Sandy Alderson, their December 2020 hiring of Jared Porter to move their baseball operations. That blew up the subsequent month when ESPN reported of Porter’s inappropriate 2016 contact with a feminine journalist.
If Porter’s horrendous conduct appeared to catch the majority of the baseball trade abruptly, nevertheless, the Mets merely ought to have higher inoculated themselves higher towards the Rocker scenario. Start with the truth that he fell to them at 10 after being projected to go a lot increased. While Boras stated in a press release, “Kumar requires no medical attention and will continue to pitch in the regular course as he prepares to begin his professional career,” backing that up with assertions of fresh MRIs — and Rocker deserves the advantage of the doubt primarily based on his observe document of by no means lacking a begin at Vandy — the scuttlebutt about Rocker’s arm had been on the market.
The Mets may have gambled on the worst-case situation of Rocker requiring Tommy John surgical procedure, from which most pitchers get well, and caught with him. The Yankees drafted Clarke Schmidt sixteenth general in 2017 a month after he underwent Tommy John surgical procedure and Schmidt’s ceiling stays excessive.
Or the Mets may have hedged their bets and drafted a attain man late within the draft as a Plan B, in case the Rocker scenario imploded. The Angels, who handed on Rocker with the choose immediately in entrance of the Mets, chosen high-school southpaw Mason Albright within the twelfth spherical and gave him a signing bonus of $1.25 million, a document for that spherical, to forego his dedication to Virginia Tech. The Mets, who had budgeted $6 million for Rocker, left greater than $1.3 million of their $9.02 million pool unspent, as first reported by ESPN, as a result of they signed the remainder of their picks to under-slot figures.
As a results of not signing Rocker, the Mets get a make-up choose subsequent 12 months that will probably be no decrease than eleventh. Active gamers who have been drafted eleventh embrace Max Scherzer, Andrew McCutchen, George Springer and present Met Dom Smith. Yet the Mets received’t get that $1.3 million again, and that presents horrible optics for an proprietor making an attempt to indicate off a brand new and improved tradition.
Meanwhile, the Mets wrapped up their longest homestand of the season with a sleepy, 7-1 loss to the Reds, dropping them to 5-6 throughout their prolonged Flushing keep. Their National League East lead fell to three ½ video games over the Phillies. To the highway they go, their short-term future hazy and their long-term future having taken a giant hit.
It was a tough day for Cohen and his deputies, who will get extra probabilities to do that proper, however are displaying everybody that cash can’t purchase you something near perfection.