The New York Mets and outfielder Tommy Pham reached an agreement on a one-year, $6 million contract on Wednesday, continuing the team’s offseason bonanza and pushing the Mets’ record payroll above $450 million.
The Mets might use Pham, 34, as a right-handed replacement for designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach. In addition, he appeared in 134 games for Cincinnati and Boston in the outfield and hit.236/.312/.374 with 17 home runs and 63 RBIs.
In 2022, it’s possible that Pham’s most significant hit came with an open hand rather than a bat. Pham slapped San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson across the head during pregame warmups at the end of May while he was with the Reds. Pham stated that he was enraged due to his belief that Pederson had cheated in a fantasy football league.
Pham stated, “Joc deserved to be slapped.”
After serving a three-game suspension, Pham was eventually traded to Boston, his fifth team in five years. Pham, a late bloomer, made his big break in 2017 with the St. Louis Cardinals, hitting.306/.411/.520 and finishing 11th in the vote for National League MVP. He has hit 114 home runs and hit.259/.354/.433 over his nine-year career.
Pham’s deal, which was first reported by SNY and includes a potential $2 million in performance bonuses, will incur a 90% tax on the Mets, whose winter expenses are approaching $500 million. The Mets’ payroll exceeds the $293 million competitive-balance-tax threshold, which is referred to as the “Steve Cohen tax” in honor of the team’s owner. As a result, the $6 million base salary will result in additional tax payments totaling $5.4 million. Currently, it is anticipated that there will be $364 million in payroll, in addition to $93 million in taxes.