Getty Images

This was all too predictable. There's an owner in Major League Baseball spending a lot of his money in an attempt to see his favorite team -- and now the team he owns -- win a World Series championship. For every action there's an equal and opposite reaction, right? Sure enough, here comes the whining. 

Here's an anonymous MLB executive, from The Athletic

"Our sport feels broken now. We've got somebody with three times the median payroll and has no care whatsoever for the long-term of any of these contracts, in terms of the risk associated with any of them. How exactly does this work? I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it."

Yep, there it is. "Risk." Here's another buzzword from another official from a different team in the same article

"I think it's going to have consequences for him down the road. There's no collusion. But … there was a reason nobody for years ever went past $300 million. You still have partners, and there's a system."

Actually, I was wrong. There are several buzzwords in there. Consequences. System. Collusion. 

Hey wait. Talking about how there's an unspoken system in place to keep payroll at a set rate sounds an awful lot like ... collusion

On that dirty word, the MLBPA declined comment.

As I said, this was predictable. The Mets have spent an absurd-looking amount of money this offseason in re-signing Brandon Nimmo and Edwin Díaz in addition to bringing in Justin Verlander and now Carlos Correa. The list goes on. It stretches back to last offseason with Max Scherzer, too. All together, the Mets are set to have the largest payroll in MLB history, looking in the ballpark of $380 million before luxury tax penalties. Those "competitive balance" taxes will be well over $100 million. 

I guess my biggest question with all this is why. Why? Why are so many people so concerned with how Steve Cohen spends his billions of dollars?

It can't be pricing out fans, because supply and demand set ticket prices. It can't be worries over competitive balance, because MLB hasn't had a repeat champ since 2000 and people have been so spoiled with parity that we're debating whether or not winning a championship in 2017 and 2022 makes a team a "dynasty." Plus, the team with the highest payroll has won the World Series one time (2018 Red Sox) since 2009 and the Mets were bounced in the first round last year. 

Are player salaries too high? Man, billionaire owners sure seem like they wouldn't willingly pay employees more money than they could spare. Welcome to capitalism, for anyone new here. 

Will "small market" teams get priced out of the market? You're gonna have to explain the Padres if you're going with that line of thinking. The San Diego market is one of the smallest in Major League Baseball (here's a study that has only Kansas City, Cincinnati and Milwaukee smaller among MLB cities). The Padres are running a payroll of well over $200 million heading toward 2023 and they don't seem interested in paring down the operation. 

The biggest "problem" here is the spending from the Padres exposes so many MLB owners for being too cheap to spend what it takes for superstars in free agent years. They care more about protecting their dollars than putting the best product possible on the field for their fans. Kudos to those who think like Cohen and Padres owner Peter Seidler, who said there's no such thing as a "window" of contention because he wants to spend like a winner every single year. Remember when Phillies owner John Middleton said they wanted to be a bit "stupid" in spending a lot in free agency? These are the actual good guys, not the penny pinchers like Pirates owner Bob Nutting or a family who will smugly tell a fan base "where [else] you gonna go?" on opening day or those who whine about possible "biblical losses" or claim this "industry isn't very profitable." 

As for those anonymous executives fuming at the Mets, let's take a quick look. 

Risk: Steve Cohen's estimated net worth is $17.5 billion. That little ".5" is $500 million. I fail to see how running a Mets payroll less than that would have any risk whatsoever, especially since it's overwhelmingly likely the Mets are going to actually make money this coming year between TV deals, ticket sales and everything else that comes along with being good. What an absolute joke to call any of this a "risk." It's a toy for him. 

Consequences: Again, I'm lost. What consequences? The only concern would be the current contracts limiting spending in future seasons, right? I just can't see that at this point. There's no salary cap. Cohen obviously doesn't mind paying the competitive balance tax. If he has some self-imposed limits, we haven't yet seen them. Plus, the Mets only have three guaranteed contracts after 2025 in Correa (once it becomes official), Francisco Lindor and Brandon Nimmo (Diaz and Kodai Senga both have opt outs). That's it. Go back to that quote and line all this up with "consequences down the road." It just doesn't make sense.

Every new superstar contract comes with eye-popping numbers and sure, the natural response is to balk at seven zeroes on a paycheck with no decimal points. If you actually think about it logically, though, there isn't really much negative when it comes to Cohen and the Mets. That is, unless you realize that is exposes so many other owners for being far too cheap and caring more about the bottom line than their fans.