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Mets sign Carlos Correa, will pay a record $500 million in total payroll in 2023

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The New York Mets swooped in and signed free agent infielder Carlos Correa to a 12-year, $315 million contract after news emerged that Correa’s previously-agreed-to-deal with the San Francisco Giants fell apart.

“We need one more thing, and this is it,” Mets owner Steve Cohen told The New York Post about the deal. “This puts us over the top.”

Assuming the contract with Correa is eventually signed, the deal is the latest example of Cohen outspending a majority of MLB teams to get players he wants, something that used to be synonymous the Mets’ fellow NYC team, the New York Yankees. The Mets have handed out $800 million in contracts just in this offseason and are set to have the highest payroll in MLB next year, for the first time since 1989.

Cohen, who is also the founder and CEO of Point72 Asset Management, purchased the Mets for $2.4 billion in 2020 — Cohen’s deal to buy the Mets from the Wilpon family is the third largest U.S. sports franchise sale in history.

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Correa would cost the Mets $49.88 million next year in salary and tax, if there is no deferred money in the deal.

Correa’s addition would increase the Mets’ luxury tax payroll next year to the $385 million range, putting the team on track to pay a record tax of about $110 million — more than double the current high of $44 million set by the 2015 Los Angeles Dodgers. The estimates would change if Correa’s deal contains deferred money or if New York has further roster turnover.

That means the Mets’ total payroll will be nearly half a billion dollars, as things stand today.

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The luxury tax is a payment that MLB teams must pay if they exceed certain spending thresholds. The tax is more punitive the higher above the threshold a team goes, and was designed to keep competitive balance in MLB.

Teams that exceed the spending limit must wire their luxury tax payment directly to the MLB Commissioner’s office in January the following year. The money is then used for certain league funding obligations, and also distributed to the other MLB teams who did not exceed the luxury tax limit, according to the MLB’s collective bargaining agreement.

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Correa and the Giants agreed on Dec. 13 to a $350 million, 13-year deal, but the contract was never signed because they were awaiting the results of Correa’s physical — several news outlets reported a medical issue was flagged during Correa’s physical.

“While we are prohibited from disclosing confidential medical information, as Scott Boras stated publicly, there was a difference of opinion over the results of Carlos’ physical examination,” Giants President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi said Wednesday said in a statement. “We wish Carlos the best.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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