After their fortunes diverged following the conclusion of the 2015 NLCS, the Cubs and Mets may have reached another such point this winter. While Tom Ricketts bemoaned biblical losses and laid off over 100 employees, Steve Cohen talked about operating his team almost like a hobby while restoring full pay to his entire workforce. The Cubs are trimming salary, the Mets gave catcher James McCann twice what experts predicted.
And in what might be the most telling — or at least the most directly related — move of the offseason, Diamondbacks assistant GM Jared Porter is expected to become the Mets’ GM. Popular speculation had Porter at the top of the list of Cubs targets due to his history with the organization in general and Jed Hoyer specifically from their Boston days, plus he fit what Hoyer is looking for in his right-hand man. Whether it’s because the Mets offered more money or a more attractive opportunity, or maybe because the Cubs didn’t actually pursue him, Porter is heading back to the East Coast.
Jared Porter is working on a deal to be the new GM of the New York Mets, sources tell ESPN.
A longtime executive in Boston, Chicago and Arizona, Porter is immensely respected around baseball and has been seen as a future GM for years. He gets his shot with the ascendant Mets.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 12, 2020
Other than having the same surname as my brother’s middle name, I don’t know Porter from Adam and can’t claim to have any inside track to his thinking on this. However, what I do know of him leads me to believe that he’s not someone who would be lured to a job simply because of money. To clarify that a little, he’s not someone who would forego what he believed to be a better job simply because another was paying more.
Money might still be part of the decision because the Mets are willing to spend a lot of it at a time when most of the league is crying poor. Either way, owners are pocketing rising income from BAMTech — the platform through which Disney+ streams — and massive broadcast rights revenues like the $3.7 billion Turner Sports deal that bumps postseason revenue by 65% over the next several years.
Something to remember: Disney+ is BAMTech. BAMTech was spun off MLBAM. MLB’s owners have retained a 15% stake. This investment falls outside any of the numbers you hear about revenue increases or decreases. It is separate from baseball-related revenue. https://t.co/UclU109wex
— Maury Brown (@BizballMaury) December 10, 2020
The Mets had been a joke of a franchise under the ownership of the meddling asininity of the Wilpon family, but Cohen has single-handedly changed the narrative in Queens. The Cubs, on the other hand, don’t appear able to operate like a big-market team with a nationwide fanbase and have developed quite a nasty patina on what had been a sterling reputation. Once a destination that enticed premier free agents to take less money, they can now only take those straggling free agents who have to take less money.
I have no idea how long this particular statement will be true, but the Mets currently offer a better opportunity than the Cubs. As I raise this glass of King Sue to my lips, I toast the possibility that I can no longer type those same words with conviction a year or two from now.