The New York Mets are still for sale. Recent interest by Alex Rodriguez as a buyer has turned heads in the Big Apple and around Major League Baseball.
Alex Rodriguez has emerged as a potential buyer for the New York Mets. His interest in purchasing the team was a surprise to almost everyone. Whether or not he can pull it off is a different issue entirely. It’s certainly an interesting idea, though and not a bad one either, for many reasons.
The Wilpon Era of New York Mets ownership will go down in team history as both confusing, and disappointing. It has been scarred by financial hardships, links to shady business deals and most important to fans, frugality. In the wake of the Wilpons involvement with the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme 12 years ago, ownership has treated the Amazins as if they were in a smaller market such as Pittsburgh and not the media capital of the United States.
With Rodriguez arising as a potential buyer, the on-field expectation is unclear. His strong baseball IQ was put on display in his 22-year career as a player as well as in the broadcast booth since his retirement. He grew up a Mets fan and has a passion for the team. There were actually tons of rumors that he would play for the Amazins in 2001, but the deal he was looking for was too expensive.
As further proof of his baseball acumen, it’s worth remembering that there were talks of A-Rod being a potential dark-horse candidate for the Yankees manager job in the 2017-2018 offseason, that eventually went to Aaron Boone. He was seen as a high risk-high reward candidate.
The reward being his smarts on the diamond and ability to analyze situations. On the other hand, his checkered past with links to, and suspensions from, using performance-enhancing drugs during his playing career proved to be too risky for the Yanks to proceed with him.
To his credit, Rodriguez has worked hard to clean up his image. His job as an analyst on ESPN’s flagship MLB Sunday Night Game has impressed many with his knowledge and reverence for the sport. His relationship with megastar Jennifer Lopez hasn’t hurt either. A-Rod is a regular on the red carpet.
The man who once signed the most lucrative contract in baseball history is in the last year of his ESPN contract, adding fuel to the New York Mets rumors. Billionaire and hedge fund investor Steven Cohen was set to buy 80 percent of the Mets for $2.6B but ended up backing out because the Wilpons wanted to amend the original agreement.
Cohen still remains in the mix, if he can have ownership of cable network SNY, and their profit of $150M every year. He’s more experienced in the business side of things than A-Rod, and he has more money. Opinions are mixed as to his desire to deal with Fred and Jeff Wilpon again.
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Current ownership values the team around $3B. A-Rod’s net worth is reported to be approximately $350 million, and his fiancee Jennifer Lopez’s net worth is considered to be approaching $400M. While this is much less than what the Mets are looking for, there is a way to proceed.
Aside from investing his own money, Rodriguez will need to line up several investors. That’s what Derek Jeter did when he bought the Miami Marlins in 2017. Aside from broadcasting, A-Rod has been heavily involved with real estate. The contacts he has made in the business world can help him put an ownership group together and make a bid.
A-Rod’s brain for baseball, popularity, familiarity with New York, and business/entertainment contacts make him a candidate to buy the Mets. He can do some good for a team whose image has been tarnished by their current owners.
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