Steve Cohen says it’s early to judge Mets season, sees making team a winner as a ‘civic responsibility’

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Steve Cohen on New York Mets ownership: I view it as a civic responsibility

The New York Mets and their revamped roster are languishing in this young baseball season, but owner Steve Cohen isn’t panicking, not by a longshot.

After all, one of the most prolific hedge fund managers on Wall Street knows what it’s like to post some losing trades early in the year, only to rebound later and go on to a winning campaign. This, he said, is largely the same.

“It’s only four games into the season right?” Cohen told CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin during an interview Wednesday on “Squawk Box” that touched on his thus-far winless team that he purchased in 2020. “Nobody wants to start zero and four, but you know, it’s early. During the season, you’re going to have losing streaks. We just happen to have one at the beginning.”

The struggles come after a disappointing season in which the Mets were supposed to contend for a championship but instead limped to a fourth-place finish in the National League East, despite having the highest payroll in baseball.

Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets swings to strike out during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 21, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Tim Nwachukwu | Getty Images

Recognizing that the current mix wasn’t working, Cohen cleaned house, trading big-name pitchers Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer along with others. The team followed up those moves with some solid pickups in free agency and are now looking to 2025 as a chance to contend for a title.

The Mets are holding out hope for 2024, but have started the year scoring just eight runs in their four losses while giving up 19.

‘Civic responsibility’

Amid it all, Cohen, founder of the Point 72 Asset Management, said he is enjoying being an owner, something he views through a larger prism than just winning ballgames.

“I don’t care about the cost side,” he said when asked about the huge dollars he has put into the team. “I said in my original press conference, if I can make millions of people happy, how cool is that? So I actually view it as a civic responsibility.”

That doesn’t mean the losing doesn’t bother him. But he is playing the long game with the Mets, not looking for immediate gratification.

“Nobody wants to lose money forever and spend money and not not have success,” he said. “To me, I think success is not only winning the World Series, getting in the playoffs and winning the World Series. It’s also developing like a deep farm system that creates talent over the years, and over and over again.”

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