PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Mets’ union representative, Brandon Nimmo went to bat for his team — and his boss — during labor negotiations last week, expressing displeasure as MLB pushed for a new tax that would penalize the highest-spending teams.
In the franchise’s new life under hedge-fund billionaire Steve Cohen, the Mets suddenly qualify as that. The fourth tier of the luxury tax this year starts at $290 million, a number the team is approaching.
"The Cohen Tax," Nimmo said. "Obviously, I’m not a huge fan. Because that’s Steve’s tax, basically. But it was something they (team owners) were passionate about and they wanted. That was one thing that we weren’t fully for. But I get it, I guess. Obviously, being underneath Steve, I’m not going to lie and say, yeah, I was all for that. Definitely didn’t want to limit him from spending the money he wants to spend the way he wants.
"There’s a level of frustration on there, no doubt. No doubt. You have a guy come in like Steve and he wants to win as badly as he does and you’re passionate about that with him, yeah, it does frustrate you a little bit. But it is what it is now. We’re both going to have to move on from it. Steve is a smart guy. I know he’ll figure out a guy to do his best with the circumstances that are here."
If Cohen wants to avoid the highest threshold, it is possible the Cohen Tax affects Nimmo personally. He is scheduled to be a free agent next offseason, and with a healthy year as his usual productive self would be in line for a big contract.
Nimmo, who hired Scott Boras as his agent over the offseason, said he is "definitely" open to discussing a contract extension with the Mets during spring training. But they haven’t had any talks yet.
"This is all I’ve known, being a New York Met," Nimmo said. "Every year, all I hear about is the ’69 Mets and the ’86 Mets. I want to be one of those teams. I want to be one of those teams that brings a World Series back."