It looks like the New York Mets will wind up in the hands of billionaire Steve Cohen and Alex Rodriguez is calling foul play.
As a minority owner of the New York Mets since 2012 when he presented $20 million for a 4% stake in the franchise, Steve Cohen has entered into exclusive contract negotiations to purchase the New York Mets.
In February, the Wilpon Family and Steve Cohen agreed to the sale of the New York Mets franchise as Cohen’s bid reached $2.6 billion; however, the deal fell apart because of the agreement’s terms.
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As the Wilpon’s proceeded to find a buyer, Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez led a group of several high profile athletes interested in purchasing the Mets, where they placed their first bid for the franchise in July.
The deadline for each party to submit their final bid for the Mets was set for the end of August. However, on August 28, Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez dropped out of the bidding when the Wilpons engaged in contract negotiations with minority owner Steve Cohen.
On the same day, it was reported that Steve Greenberg, the managing director of Allen & Co. and the New York Mets’ banking firm, inquired about the value the Alex Rodriguez group offered so Cohen could raise his bid if necessary. It was reported the Alex Rodriguez group offered $2.3 billion, with Steve Cohen’s offer slightly higher at $2.35 billion.
Rodriguez is under the suspicion that Steve Greenberg and Steve Cohen were in cahoots, which is plausible. Greenberg represented Cohen when he was bidding for the ownership of the Dodgers back in 2012. While Cohen’s $1.6 billion bid was the highest initial offer, he succumbed to Guggenheim Baseball Management, who acquired the franchise for $2.15 billion.
The highest purchased team in MLB history was the Miami Marlins in 2017 when Derek Jeter and New York businessman Bruce Sherman bought the franchise for $1.2 billion. With a $2.35 billion record-shattering price tag for a MLB franchise, the New York Mets’ anticipated sale could boost teams’ value throughout the league.
While the Mets currently have the 5th highest payroll at $76 million, there may be a free agency spree in Queens in the offseason with Cohen’s estimated net worth of $14 billion.
Cohen initially offered $2.6 billion for the franchise back in February, though he will obtain the franchise at $2.35 billion.
Critics have long held the belief that Cohen would not receive the stamp of approval from the Mets, or any other franchise due to his controversial history. The only question remains whether Major League Baseball owners will approve of lifelong Mets fan Steve Cohen, who needs 23 of 29 votes from MLB owners and Rob Manfred’s endorsement.