The hardest part of the Steve Cohen takeover of the New York Mets is over.
Friday was a momentous day for Queens’ MLB franchise as the 64-year-old hedge-fund billionaire was approved by fellow club owners and given the green light by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to assume his position as the 95% stakeholder in the team.
It was the final two hurdles to complete the $2.475 billion transaction from the Wilpon family, cementing his place as the team’s new majority owner — and sparking a new era for an organization that has been deprived of consistent contention.
The fun part that comes with improving the team via free agency and the trade market, potentially overhauling the front office, and beefing up the analytics and scouting departments is just around the corner, but Cohen himself provided Mets fans with an update on Sunday morning.
“I anticipate closing the deal in the next 10 days and then it’s off and running,” he wrote on his personal Twitter page, which a source was able to verify with amNewYork Metro was his actual account.
Once the deal is closed, Cohen is expected to move quickly, especially when it comes to the free-agent market and potential front-office tweaks.
Cohen has already confirmed that Sandy Alderson will be the team’s new president and is expected to bring on a president of baseball operations and possibly, a new general manager, which would spell the end for the current GM, Brodie Van Wagenen.
No replacements have been identified to amNewYork Metro at this time.
The future of manager Luis Rojas remains unclear, as well, but the current notion suggests that he will return for a second year with the Mets.
The team is still making moves, however, as it extended an $18.9 million qualifying offer to starting pitcher Marcus Stroman on Sunday morning.
Stroman is expected to test the free-agency waters this offseason, but the Mets’ offer clearly states their intent that, ideally, they would like to bring him back.
New York acquired Stroman from the Toronto Blue Jays shortly before the 2019 trade deadline, but opted out of the 2020 season citing COVID-19 concerns.
In his opt-out press conference, the 29-year-old righty made it known that he would like to return to the Mets.
“It was a blessing, a breath of fresh air when I came to this organization and I truly mean that,” Stroman said in August. “I truly enjoyed showing up to work every day. I would love to be a part of what they have going on, there’s a lot that goes into that but I can’t say enough good things about this organization.”
The Mets also discovered on Sunday that reliever Dellin Betances exercised his $6.8 million player option to return to the team in 2021.
He struggled mightily in his first year in Queens after eight seasons across town with the Yankees, posting a 7.71 ERA in 11.2 innings pitched as he searched for consistency both on the mound and with his health as he dealt with a lat injury.