New York Mets owner Steve Cohen said he’s disappointed his team didn’t sign Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto but is satisfied with his club’s effort in trying to acquire the highly-touted pitcher.
“I think the whole organization tried our hardest, and someone was going to win and someone was going to lose, and that is the way it goes,” Cohen told the New York Post’s Mike Puma. “I feel good about our efforts, and I left it all on the field. Life goes on.”
Cohen and president of baseball operations David Stearns flew to meet Yamamoto in Japan before the winter meetings, then the owner hosted a dinner party for the pitcher at his home, where he got to meet Mets manager Carlos Mendoza and pitching coach Jeremy Hefner.
The Mets made Yamamoto a 12-year, $325-million offer, which was identical to the reported deal he accepted from the Los Angeles Dodgers. The New York Yankees also made a 10-year, $300-million offer to the right-hander, according to reports.
The Mets’ offer was among the first Yamamoto’s camp received, and the team was never given an opportunity to increase its bid, a source told Puma. Cohen and his front office weren’t expected to increase their offer by much because of the additional posting fee they had to pay to sign Yamamoto, according to the same source.
With Yamamoto out of the picture, Cohen said the Mets are “not focused on winning the headlines over the next week” and plan to make moves to help with “sustainability over the intermediate long term.”
“Last I looked, there’s never one player that is going to make or break your team,” Cohen said. “We’ll build it. It will happen. Slowly and surely, you will see changes and improvements. We have got the right management in place with a shared vision.”
The Mets struggled through a disappointing 2023 campaign in which they finished fourth in the National League East despite entering the season with baseball’s highest payroll.