Alex Rodriguez Reportedly Candidate to Buy Mets After Failed Steve Cohen Sale

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2020

Jennifer Lopez, left, and Alex Rodriguez, right, sit courtside during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Retired MLB superstar Alex Rodriguez has reportedly emerged as a candidate to become a major stakeholder in the New York Mets after the club's proposed $2.6 billion sale to Steve Cohen fell through.

Thornton McEnery of the New York Post reported on Friday that Rodriguez is considering a plan similar to the one used by former New York Yankees teammate Derek Jeter to acquire the Miami Marlins. A-Rod and his fiancee, singer Jennifer Lopez, would be the faces of a large ownership group with several wealthy investors.

"[Rodriguez] genuinely loves the Mets," a source told McEnery. "He and J.Lo have talked about him buying a team ever since Jeter got the Marlins."

Cohen stepped away from discussions to acquire 80 percent of the franchise after the Mets' current ownership group, led by majority owner Fred Wilpon, pushed to retain control for five years.

The New York native and billionaire hedge fund manager remains involved in the process, however, and a banker involved in the sale process told the New York Post he should still be considered a major player.

"No chance A-Rod pulls that off, especially with Steve Cohen still out there playing safety on this thing," the source said. "This auction will not get close to $3 billion, and it will be lucky to get over $2 billion. Steve knows that, he's talking to people and he's waiting for the Wilpons to come back begging for $2.6 billion and no five-year window."

The Mets are hopeful that removing the five-year demand for the complete transfer of power pushes the value to $3 billion, per McEnery.

Rodriguez and Lopez have the financial foundation to make a serious bid if they can attract a group to help reach the asking price. Lopez, a Bronx native, worth an estimated $400 million, while his net worth checks in at $350 million. They got engaged last March.

"He's a businessman and a baseball man based in New York," a source close to A-Rod told McEnery. "Why wouldn't he be looking at this?"

If the couple is successful, Rodriguez, who played 12 seasons for the Yankees, would suddenly become a division rival with Jeter and the Marlins in the NL East.

That said, Kevin Draper of the New York Times reported Wilpon and his son, Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, have showed a "lack of urgency" to complete a sale and would like to "own the team forever." Whether they can navigate "internecine family battles" will determine if they get their wish, though.

It creates a situation with far more questions than answers about the club's ownership future, but A-Rod's interest adds an intriguing subplot.

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