New York Mets: Things Heat Up With Potential Sellers

New York Mets, Jeff Wilpon

As the 2020 season seems to die in front of our eyes slowly, the potential sale of the New York Mets is heating up. Former buyers and new clients are lining up to purchase one of MLB’s most valuable franchises.

The Steve Cohen saga to purchase the Mets has no end in sight. He originally backed out from the 2.6 billion dollar deal, which included the Wilpons partial ownership for the following five seasons. Cohen said the Wilpons were negotiating in “bad faith” but does not rule out entering another bid. He is waiting on the season’s resumption and will also ask for more control of SNY with his future offer.

J-Rod Ownership?

The group led by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez are active in their pursuit of the Mets. They connected with an unnamed backer who could bring up to $250,000 to add to the group’s funds. Rumors say two investors through Galatiota Sports Partners will bring in a combined 250 million dollars.

Galatiota helped Josh Harris acquire the Philadelphia 76ers in 2011. Harris is also interested in purchasing the Mets. Based on his work with the 76ers and New Jersey Devils, he would be a terrific replacement to the Wilpons.

Wilpons Scramble

The longer baseball goes without a season, the lower the value of franchises become. The Wilpons, known for the lack of funds to run a franchise, hope to extend a 250 million dollar loan, which expires after July. They hope the loan extension is for a year, which gives time for all of the turmoil in baseball and the world to settle. They want to avoid an auction, which would make it easy for the Harris/Blitzer group to swoop in and buy.

If the Mets are not sold by 2021, they will partake in their version of Moneyball. Any high priced talent will either get kicked to the curb or never receive an offer. For most owners of a sports franchise, it becomes a business-first mentality, but it seems the Wilpon’s have forgotten about the sports side of it and just want to break even when they through with the franchise.

New York Mets: J-Lo and A-Rod Making a Second Run at Buying The Mets

New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez

Just a short while ago, the partnership of Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez backed out of purchasing the New York Mets. After their initial proposal fell out, their partnership with JPMorgan Chase have put together a new bid in the hope of becoming the new owners of the franchise.

The couple is putting together “hundreds of millions” of their own money in an attempt to get rid of the Wilpon regime. The COVID-19 pandemic and current minor league conflicts show the family is more than ready to rid the financial burden of owning the Mets finally.

New Changes to the Plan

The original plan of only owning the franchise fell out in part of the negative revenues from solely owning the Mets. SNY’s revenues allow Wilpons to continue operating the franchise without losing money. The new plan includes SNY in the deal, new partners (no longer Wayne Rothbaum, and a long-term plan for successful ownership.

The Wilpons are not ones to prevent themselves from making an extra dime. They still want a part of SNY’s ownership in the deal but are willing to hand over majority ownership now. As rich as the J-Rod combination is, they need help to pull off a deal, especially with SNY involved.

The partnership with JP Morgan Chase guarantees large amounts of money are coming for the big. Rumors put the bid around $2 billion, and it has a much higher chance of happening than their first attempt at ownership.

Another crucial part of this deal is the joint ownership where both Rodriguez and Lopez would be front and center of the franchise. They will be active owners and attempt to undo some of the messes the Wilpon family will leave behind.

New Blood in Queens

Another aspect is creating a different environment for fans and players. They have spoken with the Kraft family, who are not interested in owning a team but in what they can do for Citi Field and the neighborhood around it. The goal is to make going to the ballgame a whole day experience, not just a game experience.

The Kraft family developed the area around Gilette Stadium to become a complex where you spend the weekend. Their interest is in developing the area around Citi Field the same way. Space is there in Queens, but fans know it is not the safest or welcoming area to hang out around after a ball game. Some of the auto shops and buildings have cleared out over the last decade-plus, but there is still a lot more work to be done there. This is why the 2013 All-Star game parade was on 42nd street in Manhattan.

The aim is to combine aspects of Wrigley Field and Madison Square Garden. The Wrigley element creates a “baseball town” for fans. The Mets fan base is as passionate as any in baseball, and they would embrace that culture. McFadden’s at Citi Field is a huge hit, so expanding that culture will fill the ballpark more often.

The Madison Square Garden aspect brings the star power to Citi Field. Just like the Knicks, the Mets have plenty of big-name celebrities from Jerry Seinfeld to Donovan Mitchell, who are avid fans. The Garden has “celebrity row” and putting together the same concept works to the Mets advantage. The stadium is next to a beautiful view, and Citi Field’s design is aging like fine wine.

There are still plenty of hoops to jump through. Other bids and negotiations are the biggest obstacles in the J-Rod ownership. But the improvement of their plans has to make fans optimistic, even as we are clueless on when baseball will return.

New York Mets: 39 Minor League Players Released, But Tebow Remains?

New York Mets, Jeff Wilpon

The owners of Major League Baseball continue to dig a hole for themselves as their cheapness continues to consume them. Along with other teams, the New York Mets released 39 minor leaguers in efforts to save money across the organization.

Some notable names are Travis Taijeron, Joey Terdoslavich, and Rob Whalen. The Wilpons barely had any support from Mets fans, and the decision to release the minor league players is an easy way out. It was another example of the owner’s way of putting their profits above their players.

Celebrity Over Players

For the Mets, a prime example of that is Tim Tebow remaining under contract. There was no baseball reason to keep him on any minor league roster over the 39 released players, he is just an entertainer who got his job for being America’s golden boy. One of those was Andrew Church, who put out an Instagram post detailing the cruel Mets decision making. The release compelled him to provide his perspective, and he is likely the first of many who will share their stories.

Casual baseball fans assume every player lives the same dream life. Minor leaguers work just as hard as the guys in the show but do not receive 10% of the treatment big leaguers get. The mass layoffs are just a microcosm of how corrupt minor league baseball has always been.

This is a prime example of how money-driven baseball is. Tebow does not deserve an opportunity to play in affiliated baseball, but his name power got him the gig. Owners are looking to squeeze out every dime they can, and unfortunately, minor leaguers are at the bottom of the totem pole. Unless a player is a top prospect, they are making nowhere near the right amount to survive.

Players have to scrap together meals and work jobs in the offseason just to have a chance to have what should be considered a dream job. With the money these players make, it does not make too much of a difference for the owners. If paying minor league salaries is too much for them to dish out money for, then they should not own a club in the first place. They cut ties with the players and effectively lowers the chances of a minor league season in 2020.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price is paying $1,000 to the minor leaguers in the organization. It should not take another employee to help others through a rough time like this. If Price, holding nowhere near the money billionaires have, can help out the players, there is no reason why the owners cannot.

Players Perspective

There once was a time where I never understood why players asked for such large amounts of money during free agency. Scott Boras used to be the enemy of baseball, but in reality, he is the leader the players need to get every dollar they deserve. The owner’s greed through these releases and ongoing negotiations shows how much of a business baseball has become.

Players get screwed over on these deals because of the owners. Agreements constantly break, and it is getting to a point where fans would not care about the cancellation entire season. This whole situation is exposed baseball for what it is. A sport for the older generation still caught up in their past generation ways. The player’s salaries are held hostage just because the owners need to make the highest profit they can, instead of trying to break even.

The entire dispute is horrible for the sport, and it makes MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, look even more incompetent. Ever since he took over for Bud Selig, his reign has been one huge dumpster fire. Each day the players miss out, the more likely this amounts to a strike beyond the 2020 season. If starting a partial season goes like this, agreeing on a new collective bargaining agreement will be the equivalent of World War 3.