Who should Mets fans be rooting for to buy the team?
New York Mets’ fans need to root for Steve Cohen to end up with the team.
The sale of the Mets has taken on a lot of twists and turns over the past year. After an initial deal to sell the team to hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen fell through, the Mets have been up for auction for the past several months, with three parties emerging as top options for the team.
A star-studded group headed by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez has bid close to two billion dollars for the team while Josh Harris, who co-owns the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers, is also in the mix to add a baseball team to his portfolio. Harris’ group may have gotten a boost this morning with the news that Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson could be joining their bid.
Adelson is worth over $30 billion dollars, but his ties to gambling establishments in Las Vegas could lead to concern that he wouldn’t be approved as an outright owner of the team. Harris’ group would potentially add Adelson as a minority owner, giving them the financial capital to potentially blow by Cohen’s bid.
While the prospect of having an ownership group worth nearly $35 billion dollars could excite Mets’ fans, the Harris bid isn’t one that the fan base should be pulling for. Harris has a reputation for simply looking for value plays and may not be as motivated by winning at all costs as opposed to simply adding an asset for a regional television network.
The best option for Mets’ fans remains Cohen, who already is a minority owner of the team and grew up as a Mets fan. Cohen is said to have a major competitive desire to win, meaning he would buy the team with a goal of competing for championships every year in a way that the Wilpons really haven’t done since the Madoff scandal impacted their finances in ways that have never been officially made public.
Agent Scott Boras has criticized the Mets for refusing to spend like a big market team at many times over the years, a criticism that would vanish if Cohen bought the team. If the sale is finalized before the offseason Cohen could easily help the Mets make plays for top talent like Mookie Betts or J.T. Realmuto in the free agent market.
Any of these groups would be an upgrade over the Wilpons, who have been shuffling money for years to retain control of the team, but Harris’ motivations aren’t ideal for winning while the J-Rod group may not have the money to be a big player in free agency. Cohen offers both desire to win and the financial wherewithal to spend with the Yankees and Dodgers every year, making him the only choice for Mets’ fans as a new owner.