January 27, 2023

‘It’s great to have two great teams in New York’: Hal Steinbrenner relishes taking on the Mets in 2023 as the Yankees’ crosstown rival payroll approaches $500 million after Carlos Correa deal

  • The Mets reportedly signed Carlos Correa on Tuesday to a 12-year, $315 million deal
  • And the team’s payroll is expected to reach $495 million after MLB luxury taxes
  • But Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said their ambition was “great for the city”
  • For their part, the Yankees signed Aaron Judge for a mega $360 million deal
  • Click here for all your latest international sports news from DailyMail.com

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner believes it’s “great” that the Mets continue to improve after more than 100 wins last season, but acknowledged their spending is “something to watch” after striking a mega deal with Carlos Correa.

The Mets’ off-season spending reached a crescendo on Tuesday as they reportedly signed a 12-year, $315 million contract with the infielder, and the team’s payroll under owner Steve Cohen will be huge next season.

According to ESPN, the Mets’ payroll is expected to reach $384 million for 2023, though with $111 million in MLB luxury taxes, Cohen’s bill will actually be a whopping $495 million.

Hal Steinbrenner said the Mets and Yankees, both strong teams, are

Hal Steinbrenner said the Mets and Yankees, both strong teams, are “great for the city”

When asked about the Mets’ brutal spending on Wednesday, Steinbrenner largely defended the Yankees’ crosstown rivals.

“It’s great to have two great teams in New York,” he said.

“And we’re both going to be great this year. And we were great teams last year, it just didn’t work out for a variety of reasons, but I just think it’s great for the city and great for the fans.

“Any fan of any team, no one should go into spring training thinking their team has no chance of making the playoffs. I mean, that’s just not good for the game.

“And that’s why all the owners have been working on a competitive balance for the last 10 years, and that’s why I think the competitive balance is significantly better than it was 10 or 15 years ago.”

Carlos Correa last season hit .291 with 22 home runs for the Minnesota Twins

Carlos Correa last season hit .291 with 22 home runs for the Minnesota Twins

However, Steinbrenner suggested that the Mets’ spending was almost excessive.

“I was joking with someone before that you used to hear me say 10 years ago that you shouldn’t have a $200 million salary to win a championship,” he said.

Well, I’ve changed that a bit. So you don’t have to have a $300 million salary to win a championship. Like most teams don’t. Not the Astros.”

The Mets’ reported signing of Correa — who hit .291 last season with 22 home runs and 64 RBIs in Minnesota — follows the lucrative contracts they gave Brandon Nimmo and Justin Verlander.

Steve Cohen has been spending big money since he took charge of the Mets in 2020

Steve Cohen has been spending big money since he took charge of the Mets in 2020

Nimmo was handed an eight-year, $162 million deal to stay with the team, while Verlander was tempted with a two-year, $86.6 million contract to leave the Astros.

For their part, the Yankees signed Aaron Judge to a nine-year, $360 million contract, trailing only Verlander and Mets pitcher Max Scherzer in annual value.

Both teams will begin spring training for the 2023 season in late February.

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