It has been previously and constantly reported that Steve Cohen should not have any issues getting the necessary approval votes from the 29 other MLB club owners to take over the New York Mets this year.
Yet there have been rumblings that the 64-year-old hedge-fund billionaire — who signed an agreement with the Wilpon family for a 95% majority stake in the team — will face some pushback from rival owners. Most recently came a report from the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, who reported that Cohen “is not a slam dunk.”
“He is not expected to be unanimously approved. The question is whether there are two to four dissenters or whether that total could grow to eight, which would mean a rejection,” Sherman said. “To that end, one person close to Cohen said he will do all he could to present himself as benignly and positively as possible to the voters.”
It’s the reason why reports have leaked out that former Mets GM Sandy Alderson could be headed back to the club, to which a source told amNewYork Metro on Monday that it would be in an advisory or senior-leadership role. Alderson is well-respected in the baseball community, thus helping Cohen’s chances.
Such a notion, however, was labeled as “pure speculation,” by a source with knowledge of the situation.
As for the notion that Cohen might run into issues getting the necessary votes to complete the sale of the Mets, the same source told amNewYork Metro that there shouldn’t be such worries for now.
“I mean, definitely not 100%, but close,” he said. “Basically voting no to [Cohen] is like saying no, I don’t want to bump the value of my franchise.”
Cohen is reportedly paying $2.475 billion for the Mets, which has a ripple effect amongst the majors. Such a high price for a franchise only improves the tag of other MLB teams, thus giving owners thinking about selling a chance to make even more of a profit.
There may still be more to the Cohen takeover, too.
Forbes’ Mike Ozanian reported on Tuesday morning that Cohen will have an exclusive 30-day period after the Mets’ sale is finalized to bid for SNY — the team’s television network that is being valued at $1 billion.
The network makes $150 million in revenue each year but is $850 million in debt.
It’s been known for quite some time that Cohen wanted SNY, but the Wilpons were not willing to include the regional sports network in initial negotiations earlier this year and during the second bidding process over the summer.
Cohen initially bid $2 billion for SNY as a part of a $4 billion offer back in July. However, he was told bidding would be only for the Mets. Under Ozanian’s evaluation, he could now get the network for half-price once things are finalized.
“The Mets are clearly having a firesale,” a source said.