The list of former New York Yankees who presently own a share of an MLB franchise is short. It is a hard club to join. Alex Rodriguez is looking to change that.
Scott Soshnick of Variety reports that Alex Rodriguez and his better half — multi-award-winning singer, actress, and world-renown entertainer Jennifer Lopez — are exploring a bid to purchase the New York Mets. They have retained JP Morgan Chase to raise capital for a potential bid.
Soshnick notes that the couple’s net worth stands around $700 million.
The financial situation the Mets stand in is no secret within the baseball world. For years fans and opposing teams have watched the Yankees bend the New York market to their advantage, seizing a massive share of the market by spending a bigger share of their revenues towards player payroll. The Mets, meanwhile, haven’t seen the same successes despite also calling the city home.
Mets ownership is cheap, at least in perception. Mets fans deserve better and there’s finally hope that something might happen.
The Wilpon family revealed in December that they were open to selling a controlling interest in the team, provided they retain a say in the club’s operations. The request might seem unusual if it were coming from anyone other than the Wilpons, but they ultimately found a buyer who would agree — hedge fund titan Steve Cohen, who already owns a minority share (8%) of the team. Cohen agreed to a record price, too, of $2.6 billion and would allow the Wilpons to control the team for five more years.
On the surface, it seemed like a strange arrangement. Cohen was paying a massive sum to purchase a new toy, but he wasn’t allowed to play with it for five years.
By mid-January, the deal fell apart. Cohen reportedly tried to renegotiate some terms of the arrangement. The Wilpons wouldn’t agree to any changes. Everything came to a full stop.
Rodriguez and Lopez would certainly need to find additional investors before a formal bid could be presented to the Wilpons, so the process is truly just getting started at this point in time. Beyond the financial side of things, there will be countless details to work out that would include what kind of role Rodriguez and/or Lopez would ultimately hold within the organization. Derek Jeter owns a share of the Miami Marlins and is serving as the franchise’s CEO. There are no indications of whether Rodriguez would seek a similar capacity with the Mets.
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Rodriguez had his faults as a player, but he’s made a more positive impact since his playing career came to an end. He’s become quite the businessman, by most accounts, but there is no way to know how he would fare running a major league organization. Right now this might just be a pipe dream, but it’s at least an interesting possibility to watch develop.