Never tweet through him, Steve Cohen.
The Mets owner has been equal parts a breath of fresh air and a troublesome tweeter since taking control of the Mets in 2020; While his sincere and honest approach to the tweet machine has fueled the goodwill and confidence of Mets fans, he has been known to put a silly thing or two or more into the ether.
On Sunday, the Mets and 2021 first-round pick Kumar Rocker were unable to reach a deal, which is concerning, to say the least. Cohen took to Twitter to try and explain the business side of it, but things just got complicated.
Education time: Baseball draft picks are worth up to 5 times their slot value to clubs. I never shy away from investments that can generate that kind of return.
– Steven Cohen (@ StevenACohen2) August 1, 2021
“Education: Baseball draft picks are worth up to 5 times the value of their space to clubs. I never shy away from investments that can bring me that kind of return,” Cohen tweeted Sunday.
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There are some unfortunate and illuminating things painted on Cohen’s tweet. The first: Cohen’s claim that picks are “five times” more than their draft value to the clubs. That sound you hear is likely the MLBPA screenshot of Cohen’s tweet addressing the CBA negotiations this offseason.
The MLB draft leaves prospects with little to no leverage. Rocker, who has college eligibility left, is choosing not to return to Vanderbilt, rather than starting his professional career. He will re-enter the draft in 2022, missing a year of professional development because the Mets couldn’t close a deal. The Mets will receive the 11th pick in the first round next season as compensation.
This situation could be a stepping stone to the league and players trying to find a way to play the draft, with which reforms are urgently needed to help aspiring players get a little more level. The system works, but it has flaws. The rocker situation is proof of this.
The second part of the tweet, less surprising but potentially more damning, is that Cohen hints that a 21-year-old pitcher with a tremendous advantage is nothing more than an “investment” for the team. Baseball is no less a business than local 7-11, so it’s not surprising to hear an owner refer to a player as an “investment.” It is still inherently rude language to use, in public or in private, regarding a player.
If we’re going to stick with the vernacular, a two-time All-American, the 2019 College World Series top player, and the 2021 Golden Spikes finalist who never missed a start seems like such a good ‘investment’. like any other. The Vanderbilt co-ace was widely regarded as one of the top 10 prospects in the 2021 MLB Draft, and one of the top three arms to declare.
Even if they want to use health as an excuse not to sign, the Mets entered the process knowing one thing for sure: Rocker is represented by super agent Scott Boras, who is known for, well, making his players pay. To that end, New York and Rocker verbally agreed to a $ 6 million signing bonus, $ 1.4 million above the value of the slot, before pulling out due to concerns with their doctors.
In turn, the Mets structured their draft in a way that would allow them to pay the rocker a little more, but apparently to no avail.
Baseball is a business. It’s not a secret. Everyone knows that.
Unfortunately, it’s the baseball business that keeps getting in the way.