Alex Rodriguez, the former New York Yankees’ star, and his fiancée Jennifer Lopez had a plan to acquire the New York Mets. The Wilpons, who had owned the franchise since 2002, put the team on sale and the “J-Rod” combo was a finalist to end up with exclusive negotiating rights.
However, their attempt was unsuccessful in the end, as hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen, a lifelong New York Mets’ fan, entered an agreement with the Wilpons and is now on his way to finalize a deal to own the club.
While Cohen’s deep pockets represent a glimpse of hope for Mets’ fans that their team could eventually become a perennial contender in the National League, Rodriguez claims he had a plan to save the team, one that included an increased payroll.
Rodriguez talked to Newsday, and said:
“The Mets were a team I grew up watching. I thought that the Mets did — and do — have an opportunity to be one of the great franchises around the world, with an incredible fan base, and we were really excited to take payroll from like $150 [million] to $225 [million] and bring a championship back to the city of New York. What I learned is that these national treasures [sports franchises] are coveted very badly.”
Cohen is expected to be the new Mets’ owner
MLB’s ownership committee approved the sale to Cohen earlier this week, but to be considered the new Mets’ owner, Cohen needs to gain approval from at least 23 of the remaining 29 ownership groups. It should happen in November.
The final numbers of the Mets’ sale are said to be around $2.4 billion. According to Forbes, Cohen’s net worth is at $14.5 billion.
Rodriguez and Lopez had gathered quite the supporting group to his bid, including Washington Wizards star shooting guard Bradley Beal, Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee, former NFL stars Brian Urlacher, Joe Thomas, and DeMarco Murray.
The Mets failed to qualify to the MLB playoffs, but have an impressive core of talented players to make a run in the near future. Jeff McNeil, Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith, David Peterson, Pete Alonso, J.D. Davis, Edwin Diaz and company are still under contract.