McDonald: Even Selling The Mets Isn’t Easy For The Wilpons

Back in a much simpler time – and I am talking about January – the Mets, through no fault of their own, were pulled into the Astros cheating scandal and had to part ways with newly hired manager Carlos Beltran.

At the time, the phrase, “This is so Mets!” was bandied about.

But we accepted it and moved on, partially because the Mets were about to be sold to hedge fund manager Steve Cohen for $2.6 million and that did not include SNY.

However, that deal fell through, because of various reasons and the Wilpons and Saul Katz started looking for another buyer.

Then the pandemic happened, and we still have not seen the start of the 2020 season, forcing all of baseball to take major losses.

During that time, the Wilpons are still looking for buyer and hemorrhaging money, dropping the value of their beloved franchise, and forcing them to include the profitable SNY in any deal.

Now that is so Mets. The Wilpons can’t even sell the team right.

Right now, the Wilpons are reportedly looking for a lifeline from JP Morgan and postpone repayment of a $250 million loan, as Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA President Tony Clark argue about compensation for the season.

By design the Mets don’t make money. SNY makes a nice profit to offset the club’s losses, which is why the Wilpons wanted to hold onto that asset. However, outside of Cohen, most buyers will want everything to make this a profitable venture.

Right now, two groups have emerged as potential buys. One is the ownership group of Josh Harris and David Blitzer, who own the Devils and 76ers. However, the Devils haven’t made too many waves since Harris and Blitzer purchased the club and these owners introduced the concept of tanking to the NBA. Besides, they are looking for a bargain, so they are a longshot at best.

The other is the power couple of Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, who need some help if they want to buy the Mets. No matter what you think of them personally, A-Rod has proven to be a competent baseball man, while J-Lo knows what it takes to entertain, and they could be an interesting ownership group.

The problem is how much they will pay for the Mets. If they are forced to be overextended in the purchase, they may be forced to gut the team in order to make ends meet.

Cohen would have been perfect since he has the money to burn and would have taken losses in order to put a winning club on the field. However, there is so much animosity from the failure of the last sale, the Wilpons reportedly will not revisit that deal.

There are also rumors of a foreign mystery buyer, but that remains to be seen.

Jeffrey Wilpon went on record saying he had four or five interested parties, but that may be trying to create a market where none exists.

No, much like everything else with their ownership, the Wilpons certainly don’t make this easy. You would think, a baseball team in New York would command top dollar, but every day without baseball, the Mets keep dropping in value, through now fault of the owners.

Now that is so Mets!

 

 

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