The future of the New York Mets revolving around potential new owner Steve Cohen might not be as concrete as first believed.
A source with knowledge of the situation has told amNewYork Metro that the billionaire’s acquisition of the Mets has fallen through, with an announcement coming as soon as this week.
Barstool Sports initially mentioned possible rumors earlier Tuesday afternoon.
“The parties are subject to confidentiality obligations, including a mutual non-disclosure agreement, and therefore cannot comment,” the Mets told amNewYork.
This comes two months after the Wilpon family — who currently owned the Mets through their real estate company, Sterling Equities — announced that Cohen was negotiating to take over a majority stake of the team for $2.6 billion.
The 63-year-old Cohen currently owns a minority share of the team and is the founder of the hedge fund, Point72 Asset Management. He previously controlled SAC Capital Advisors which in 2013, was docked $1.8 billion due to U.S. criminal and civil settlements.
Jeff and Fred Wilpon were planned to be phased out over a five-year period while Cohen would have become the richest owner in Major League Baseball — potentially injecting some of his $13.7 billion net worth (per Forbes) into the franchise that has been frugal under current ownership.
The source told amNewYork that some of the demands from the Wilpon Family regarding their removal accelerated the disintegration of the deal.
These latest developments are a continuation of the organization’s turbulent offseason. Carlos Beltran was fired two months into his stint as team manager for his involvement in the Houston Astros’ 2017 sign-stealing scandal.
The Wilpons have been pegged by many as the reason why the Mets have been a second-division team for a majority of the last 20 years. Despite playing in the largest sports market in the country and being valued as the sixth-most expensive franchise by Forbes, the Wilpons’ refusal to spend money on the best possible players and personnel have kept the Mets in the Yankees’ shadow in New York.
Much of that stems from the fallout of the Bernie Madoff scandal 12 years ago, which saw the family lose hundreds of millions of dollars and the subject of a lawsuit from other Madoff victims. The suit was settled, with the Mets agreeing to pay $162 million to the plaintiffs.
Cohen, who grew up a Mets fan on Long Island, is seen by many fans as the man to lead the franchise into a new age where he’d spend freely on putting a top-notch product on the field.
The Mets already have a promising foundation in place, coming off an 86-win season. However, they missed the playoffs for a third-straight season with a third-place finish in the loaded National League East.