Fred, Jeff Wilpon Get 5-Year Contracts as Steve Cohen Seeks 80% Mets Ownership

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2019

New York Mets owners Fred, left, and Jeff Wilpon attend a news conference at Citi Field, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, in New York. Carlos Beltran, two years removed from his playing career and with no managerial experience, has been picked by the New York Mets to replace Mickey Callaway. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

The New York Mets are set to be under new leadership. 

In five years.

The club announced a reorganization of its ownership structure, set to take place over the next five seasons, as Steve Cohen is set to acquire a majority share of the franchise.  of Bloomberg reported Cohen, who is already a minority investor, is seeking 80 percent control.

Controlling owner and CEO Fred Wilpon and his son, Jeff, the COO, have reached an agreement to stay in their current roles for the next five seasons. Cohen would then have the opportunity to become the controlling owner, beginning in 2025.

Terms of the sale put a $2.6 billion valuation on the club, which would be an MLB record. Joel Sherman of the New York Post noted that succession issues within the Wilpon family led to the sale.

The Wilpon family has owned at least part of the Mets franchise since 1980. Fred Wilpon and Nelson Doubleday Jr. co-owned the franchise from 1986 until 2002 when Wilpon bought out Doubleday's 50 percent stake. 

The franchise has been somewhat constrained by the Wilpons' issues with money, which began when the family was embroiled in the Bernie Madoff scandal in 2008. There were reports Wilpon lost enough money in the Ponzi scheme that it would force him to sell the franchise, which turned out to be false. The family eventually sold off a minority stake in the franchise to help offset losses incurred by lawsuits and other issues that arose amid the scandal.

The Mets have had only rare periods of intermittent success under Wilpon, most recently a 2015 World Series appearance. The franchise has made only two postseason appearances in the last 13 seasons.

Cohen is listed as the 35th richest person in the world, with a net worth of $13.6 billion.