New York Mets: Wilpons Won’t Sell SNY With the Team

As baseball continues to take a seat with the Coronavirus pandemic running rampant in the U.S., the Wilpons are still searching for the right buyer for the New York Mets. One guarantee of the future sale is that SNY will continue to belong to the Wilpons no matter what.

SNY has been the Mets network where a majority of the games air since 2006. The unwillingness to part ways with the network cause a conflict with Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez’s bid to acquire the franchise. SNY makes money while the Mets are losing up to $90 million per season. The Mets games are going to be on SNY for at least ten more years, which is a guaranteed profit for whoever owns the team.

One Controversial Group Against Another

The Wilpons 65 percent ownership of SNY is what levels off the high loss from owning the Mets. Steve Cohen was the only one willing to strike a deal without SNY. While the Mets have been struggling to make money without baseball games, the Wilpons have made a move to ask their minority owners to make commitments to the team.

A-Rod has found biotech investor Wayne Rothbaum to partner in the sale. Rothbaum brings in the money the A-Rod group needed, which makes the push to buy legitimate. He was part of a group with Jeb Bush that pursued the sale of the Marlins in 2017.

Rodriguez Takes a Backseat

What comes with Rothbaum joining the team is that MLB will want to see him in charge instead of Rodriguez. The same way Magic Johnson takes a limited role with the Los Angeles Dodgers. A-Rod has never been the type to avoid the spotlight either as the villain during his playing day to the hero he tries to play now.

Without any sports right now, the potential Mets sale at least gives fans something to be hopeful for in 2020.

New York Mets Still Want to Sell Team… But Who Will Buy?

New York Mets, Robinson Cano

I reported earlier in the week, when talks of salvaging the sale of the New York Mets to Steve Cohen were at its highest, that the deal was dead. It was confirmed in the past 24 hours that, yes, the sale to minority owner, Steve Cohen, was no more. The Wilpon’s are still set on trying to sell the team. But based on what’s coming out about the deal, who will honestly bite?

Ceremonial Roles Aren’t So Ceremonial

The two Wilpon’s, after surrendering majority control to Cohen in 2025, would still keep the roles they currently have with the team (Fred as managing general partner, and Jeff the COO). Everyone, including Cohen, thought that the Wilpon’s would serve as the Royal Family to the Mets. You know how Queen Elizabeth is queen, but the monarchy hasn’t had legitimate legislative power in real long time? Every New York Mets fan assumed that would be the case here, and were fine with that. But the language the Wilpon’s worked in, late in finalizing the deal, stated clearly that Cohen would still be ceding the authority to make decisions as to the managing general partner, and as the COO to both Wilpon’s till at least 2030.

So why would anyone want to buy a team, to only have the owners stick around making key baseball decisions till 2030, and not surrendering control of the team till 2025?

Could you imagine if CBS still were making decisions with George Steinbrenner as the owner of the Yankees for 10 years after George became the owner? That’s basically what the Wilpon’s are trying to do. If you’re going to sell the team, SELL THE TEAM! Cut ties, rip the band-aid off, end all communications with the people who took over your job.

The desire for the Wilpon’s to establish this precedent will surely dampen any prospective buyers from taking ownership of the Mets. And at an asking price of $2.5 billion (half the value of the Yankees, but more than double the cost Derek Jeter bought the Marlins for), it seems unrealistic that the Wilpon’s will find a buyer, willing to settle for their terms much before the end of the 2020 season.

The New York Mets…’Nuff Said

When you go down the list of terrible team owners, you’ll see the New York Mets’ owners sooner rather than later. That’s because the Wilpons are easily among the worst owners in professional sports. Back in December, Mets fans were elated to hear that the Wilpons would be selling the team. Fans were even more excited to learn that billionaire Steve Cohen was the one the Wilpons were selling to. They were even MORE excited when they started hearing about Cohen’s willingness to spend any amount of money to win. Yesterday, Mets fans were reminded exactly why they should never get their hopes up.

The Wilpons Hate Mets Fans

Yesterday, Barstool Sports reported that the potential sale of the New York Mets to Steve Cohen had gone south. Now, in fairness, neither the Mets nor Cohen has confirmed this report. However, this is due more to the non-disclosure agreements between the two parties than anything else. Reports suggest that Cohen has stepped back because the Wilpons tried to change the terms of the deal. It’s the type of thing that shady business people do. This is fitting because the Wilpons are shady business people.

A similar situation unfolded in 2011 when the Wilpons tried to sell a portion of the team to David Einhorn. A deal was in place and at the last moment, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz decided to remove a provision that would have allowed Einhorn to take majority control of the team down the road. We’re unsure of what changes the Wilpons tried to make this time. However, they must have been significant for a man who’s worth $13.7 billion to potentially walk away at this late stage.

What Do We Make of All of This?

Reports suggest that while this deal is not entirely dead, it is on life support, to say the least. Cohen is a businessman and by all accounts, a tough negotiator. This could be a strategy by Cohen to make the deal more favorable to him. Given the Wilpons’ track record though, that seems unlikely. The more likely scenario is that the Wilpons attempted some sort of bait and switch. There have also been reports that there may be another potential suitor. This also seems unlikely though due to the late stage this deal was already at. Not only that, but that Cohen was about to pay $2.6 billion for a franchise valued at $2.3 billion.

The Cohen sale falling through would be a shot through the heart for Mets fans. This fanbase has become jaded by the way the Wilpons operate. Time and again the Wilpons have prioritized saving money over winning. There’s something to be said for operating this way if you’re a small-market team. The Mets are no small-market team though. In fact, as of 2019, the New York Mets were the 6th most valuable franchise in MLB. All Mets fans want is an owner who wants to win as badly as they do. The Wilpons have never been that and likely will never be that. Again, this deal isn’t completely dead but it doesn’t look good. If this sale falls through, who knows when the next potential sale of the Mets will happen. I’m not sure this fanbase can deal with another decade of the Wilpons.

New York Mets: What We Learned From the Hiring of Luis Rojas

The Houston Astros cheating scandal put an unneeded variable in the future of former New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran. It brought questions on his credibility, and he eventually lost his job. General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen had to act quick and smart with two different owners overlooking every move.

The Wilpons are gradually taking a backseat to the day to day moves as Steve Cohen begins to assume majority ownership of the organization. While the transition is occurring, there is increasing uneasiness among the executives who worked under the Wilpon regime. Every executive is under the microscope as Cohen tries to revamp the future of the Mets.

Brodie on the Hot Seat?

Van Wagenen had a tough choice to make when selecting Luis Rojas. The decision was more than simply hiring someone to replace Beltran. If Van Wagenen hired someone they initially refused to interview, such as Dusty Baker or Buck Showalter, it would be a bad look on him. It shows Van Wagenen’s role as a puppet for the Wilpon’s instead of someone thinking on his own.

Cohen will not be the control freak the Wilpon’s have been since they assumed majority ownership. Van Wagenen is trying to stay above water with Cohen. New owners usually bring in their crew of guys and quickly moves on from the old regime. Van Wagenen has made plenty of bold moves during his two offseasons as GM. The leash is very short, and the only person who can extend it is Van Wagenen himself.

The hiring of Rojas is a good move bottom line. Van Wagenen had to stay inside of the organization with Spring Training quickly approaching. Rojas prior managing experience in the minors put him in line to become a future big-league manager. Almost every player on the roster has high praise for Rojas, and he has a good relationship with the young players he worked with in the minors.

Urgency to Win

The “win now” motto of Van Wagenen has never carried the significance it has now. His future with the Mets is on the shoulders of Rojas. No matter the outcome this season, he will have a job in 2021. Cohen is going to provide Van Wagenen with the freedom he did not have under the Wilpon’s.

Despite having freedom, the offseason is all but over. The only thing left as an evaluator of Van Wagenen will be the success the Mets have in 2020. If the season starts the same way 2019 did, it is hard to see Van Wagenen making it to the All-Star break.

New York Mets Sale: Will Steve Cohen Effect Mets in 2019-20

Steve Cohen is set to become the New York Mets‘ new majority owner. What does that mean for this offseason?

With news of the Wilpons’ selling the team many fans immediately jumped to the money. The Wilpons have spent like a mid market team for most of the decade and fans are sick of it. So, Mets fans were excited to find out that they were selling the team.

They got even more excited when they found out who Steve Cohen was. Cohen is one of the 30 richest people in America and is set to become the richest owner in MLB. Cohen’s net worth is over 19 times larger than the Wilpons. Plus, Cohen is said to be ready to elevate the Mets spending into the level of other major market teams. Not just on free agents, but on analytics and other front office pieces as well. He’s set to spend money to make the Mets one of the forces in MLB.

That’s exciting, but it’s not happening anytime soon. Sorry to ruin the fun, but the sale will not affect the Mets this offseason. The team isn’t all of a sudden going to sign Gerrit Cole or Anthony Rendon.

First off, the deal isn’t even finalized. The Wilpons have come close to selling their majority stake two times before this and both times it fell through. So, take any excitement over this deal with a grain of salt. Until the deal is finalized it could all fall apart.

Even after the deal is finalized it could all fall apart. Cohen has to be approved as a majority owner by the rest of the owners. While that is likely it’s not a guarantee. Cohen has previous issues with the law being hit with insider trading and sexual discrimination suits.

If this deal does get done, and Cohen does become the team’s majority owner. It won’t happen until February at the earliest. That’s when the next owner meeting is, and that’s when they would likely vote on Cohen. By that point, the offseason will have passed.

This sale is exiting for the Mets, and fans should be happy. However, just keep in mind that it’s not set in stone. Even when it is all done it won’t have an effect for a little while.

That said, MLB better watch out for the Steve Cohen led New York Mets in 2021.

Mets Fans Get Holiday Gift: Wilpons to Sell Majority Share of the Team

New York Mets fans are doing cartwheels down 126th Street this afternoon as the news broke that the Wilpon family is in negotiations to relinquish as much as 80 percent of their share of the club to billionaire Steve Cohen, who is already a minority share holder.

Bloomberg News is reporting that “the transaction would value the team at $2.6 billion, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The Mets confirmed the talks in a statement…Fred Wilpon, the team’s principal owner, will remain in his current role for at least five years, at which time Cohen will have a path to controlling the franchise, said the person. Jeff Wilpon, his son, will remain as the team’s chief operating officer for the five-year period, the person said.”

From the Mets:

The Sterling Partners and Steve Cohen are negotiating an agreement in which Steve Cohen would increase his investment in the New York Mets. As part of that agreement, Fred Wilpon will remain in the role of the Control Person and CEO for five years and Jeff Wilpon will remain in his role of Chief Operating Officer for the 5 year period as well. Steve Cohen will continue as CEO and President of Point72 Asset Management and his stake in the Mets will continue to be managed by his family office, Cohen Private Ventures.

So, the Wilpon’s stranglehold on the Mets will soon be over and with it could be the small-minded, small-market philosophy that has held the team back from competing with the Yankees, Dodgers, Braves, Cubs and others for top free agents.