Money is the root of all evil, some might say. Cash is king, others would say. Either way, the New York Mets have a lot more of it than the Milwaukee Brewers do.
In a shocking turn of events, Carlos Correa, one of the most prized free agents this offseason, went from a 13 year, $350MM deal with the Giants to now all of a sudden signing a 12 year, $315MM deal with the Mets on Wednesday morning. He was all set to have an introductory press conference on Tuesday, but it was postponed due to a late issue with Correa's physical. Sensing an opening, the Mets swooped in and signed him.
Now the Mets have two $300+MM shortstops on their roster and their payroll is out of control.
Following the signing of Carlos Correa, the Luxury Tax bill for the New York Mets is almost as high as the Brewers entire current payroll.
This signing takes the Mets 2023 payroll up to a whopping $384MM.
Their luxury tax bill is in excess of $111 million.
The Brewers entire payroll right now is $116 million.
The entire payroll bill for the Mets after the season will be nearly half a billion dollars. Just for one season! The Brewers barely spend half a billion dollars in half a decade combined.
So far this offseason the Brewers have been dropping payroll. They ended last season with a $137MM payroll and are down just over $20MM with several players reaching free agency, the end of Lorenzo Cain's contract, and the trade of Hunter Renfroe. They've yet to turn these savings so far into new spending on the team.
Now that all of the elite free agents are off the board with the conclusion of the Correa saga (not that the Brewers were signing him anyway) it's unlikely the Brewers are going to turn those savings into free agent spending this winter.
That doesn't necessarily mean that they won't increase their payroll. They could still make trades to bring in players that are getting paid a bit more, as they've been very active on the trade front this offseason. Plus, they could and should sign some of their current players to extensions. Corbin Burnes, Willy Adames, and Brandon Woodruff are the three that come to mind that the Brewers could use their payroll savings so far on.
Still, the Brewers aren't going to be catching the Mets in payroll spending anytime soon. Steve Cohen is willing to spend oodles of money on his team and Mark Attanasio just doesn't have that level of oodles of money, although very few people in the world do have Cohen-level money.
Perhaps once that luxury tax bill gets spread out to the small market clubs via revenue sharing, the Brewers will have a little more money at their disposal to increase their own payroll a bit. They don't need to go to Cohen-levels, but being in a level with some more breathing room away from Cohen's luxury tax bill itself would be nice.