‘It’s great to have two great New York teams’: Hal Steinbrenner is relishing taking on the Mets in 2023 as the Yankees’ crosstown rival’s payroll nears $500m after Carlos Correa deal
- The Mets reportedly signed Carlos Correa to a 12-year, $315million deal Tuesday
- And the team’s payroll is expected to be $495million after MLB luxury taxes
- But Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said their ambition was ‘great for the city’
- For their part, the Yankees signed Aaron Judge to a $360million megadeal
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Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner believes it’s ‘great’ that the Mets are continuing to improve after topping 100 wins last season, but acknowledged their spending is ‘something to be looked at’ after they agreed to a megadeal with Carlos Correa.
The Mets’ offseason spending spree hit a crescendo on Tuesday as they reportedly inked a 12-year, $315million contract with the infielder, and the team’s payroll under owner Steve Cohen will be massive next season.
According to ESPN, the Mets’ payroll is expected to be $384 million for 2023, though with $111 million in MLB luxury taxes, Cohen’s bill will actually be a whopping $495 million.
Hal Steinbrenner said the Mets and Yankees both being strong teams is ‘great for the city’
Asked about the Mets brazen spending on Wednesday, Steinbrenner largely defended the Yankees’ crosstown rivals.
‘It’s great to have two great New York teams,’ he said.
‘And we we’re both gonna be great this year. And we were great teams last year, just didn’t work out for different reasons , but I just think it’s great for the city and great for the fans.
‘Every fan of every team, nobody should have to go to spring training thinking their team has no chance of making the playoffs. I mean that’s just not good for the game.
‘And that’s why all the owners have worked on competitive balance the last 10 years, and why I think competitive balance is considerably better than it was 10 or 15 years ago.’
Carlos Correa hit .291 with 22 home runs last season for the Minnesota Twins
However, Steinbrenner suggested the Mets’ spending was verging on the excessive.
‘I was joking with somebody previously that 10 years ago, you’d always hear me say that you shouldn’t have a $200-million payroll to win a championship,’ he said.
‘Well, I’ve modified that slightly. So, you shouldn’t have to have a $300-million payroll to win a championship. As most teams don’t. The Astros didn’t.’
The Mets’ reported signing of Correa – who hit .291 with 22 home runs and 64 RBIs in Minnesota last season – follows the lucrative contracts they gave Brandon Nimmo and Justin Verlander.
Steve Cohen has been a massive spender since taking control of the Mets in 2020
Nimmo was handed an eight-year, $162million deal to remain with the team, while Verlander was tempted with a two-year, $86.6million pact to leave the Astros.
For their part, the Yankees signed Aaron Judge to a nine-year, $360million contract, which trails only Verlander and Mets pitcher Max Scherzer in annual value.
Both teams will begin Spring Training for the 2023 season in late February.