New York Mets: Per Forbes, team’s value way below Wilpon’s selling price

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New York Mets

New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Forbes magazine came out with its annual valuation of Major League teams on Thursday. While they valued the New York Mets at $2.4B. That number is hundreds of millions below what the Wilpon family wants to sell the club.

In the ongoing struggle to sell the New York Mets, team owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon just hit an unexpected pothole. Thursday, Forbes magazine estimated the team’s value to be much lower than the selling they have been reportedly asking for.

Whether it’s player contracts, team ownership, or even fresh fruit at a farmer’s market (you remember that), any commodity is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. For example, if a free agent wants a five-year, $75M contract and the best offer on the table is three years, $36M, then that’s what he’s worth. The same goes for a baseball franchise.

New York Mets fans were almost euphoric when it was announced last December that the team would be sold to hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen. The deal was worth a reported $2.6B. There were some quirks, however, such as the Wilpons would keep running the franchise for five years. Two months later everything fell apart as Cohen accused Fred and Jeff of not dealing in good faith.

Reports surfaced that Cohen might be interested in reviving the deal if Mets cable network SNY was included. Owning the Yankees is like having a license to print money with Babe Ruth‘s picture on the hundred dollar bill. Owning the New York Mets, not so much.

Because the team is so heavily leveraged, estimates are that it loses approximately $50M per year on its own. That loss is offset by the approximately $100M SNY makes per year. So it’s easy to see why Cohen would want the network as well. A new report, however, makes those figures seem very out of whack.

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