The New York Mets have been majority owned by the Wilpon family since 1986 and in 2002 they bought the remaining shares of the franchise. One of the most disliked ownership groups in Major League Baseball is about to be out the door, along with club president Saul Katz. The Wilpons and Katz have agreed to sell the Mets to billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen, the club announced Monday afternoon.
Per Tim Healey of Newsday, the deal values the Mets at around $2.475 billion. Cohen will reportedly own a 95 percent stake in the ballclub.
The pending deal needs to be approved by Major League Baseball before it is announced as official, but it's hard to find any compelling reason why the deal won't go through. Consider this basically a done deal.
The Mets have released the following statement:
"I am excited to have reached an agreement with the Wilpon and Katz families to purchase the New York Mets," said Mr. Cohen.
Cohen, 64, has an estimated net worth more than $14 billion, per Forbes. This will be his first foray into the world of professional sports. Cohen grew up in New York, attending John L. Miller Great Neck High School.
A group that included Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez was also trying to buy the club, but Cohen is now set to be the next owner after a lengthy negotiation.
Once Cohen takes over, it'll be interesting to see what happens with the front office this coming offseason. It's fair to say the last four seasons have been incredibly disappointing for the Mets. Former agent Brodie Van Wagenen has been at the helm as executive vice president and general manager since October 2018, and there are more than a few moves that have turned out to be questionable. Will Cohen show up and start cleaning house?
It's difficult to know right now with Cohen not having any previous background in sports. Still, the likely refrain among Mets fans right now is probably "anyone but the Wilpons."