New York Mets owners Fred Wilpon and his son Jeff appear very motivated to sell the club before the end of 2020.
When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires (such as the Wilpons selling the New York Mets) will come to you.
Reports are coming out from various media outlets that the current owners are highly motivated to sell off the New York Mets by the end of 2020. That is fantastic news to Amazins fans who have been desperate to rid themselves of Fred and Jeff Wilpon for decades. They are sick and tired of the penny-pinching duo crying poor and running their ballclub like it’s in Pittsburgh when they control a team playing in the country’s largest media market.
Last November it appeared that a sale was imminent. Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen, already a New York Mets minority partner, agreed to purchase 80 percent of the team for $2.6B. Under the terms of the agreement good old, Fred and Jeff would continue to run the organization for five more years, much to the chagrin of the fans.
But like freshly chewed gum stuck to the bottom of a shoe, the Wilpons found a way to continue their stranglehold on the Mets. The deal fell through as Cohen accused the sellers of dealing in bad faith. It wasn’t the first time Fred has backed out of a sale or been accused of shady business dealings.
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As baseball nears its return from the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, the Wilpons appear to be in a credit crunch. Debt payments on CitiField mean the team usually operates at an annual loss of between $85-$95M per year. Playing a shortened season in an empty stadium will greatly increase the shortfall.
Ownership has tried to get their primary lender, JP Morgan Chase to restructure their $250M loan, but have yet to obtain relief. All these factors have lit a fire under the father and son who are notorious for dragging their feet, to sell. There might even be a coronavirus discount.
An opening round of bidding for the team will take place in July with the goal of an agreement to present to MLB owners in October. If anyone who supports this team could believe the Wilpons would act altruistically, a sale at that time would give the new owner(s) time to put together a plan for building the 2021 team.
More than likely Fred and Jeff want to be long gone before a $44M payment is due on CitiField next year and negotiations with the MLBPA on a new labor agreement reach critical mass.