Here’s the good news, New York Mets fans: The Wilpons are finally selling the team. Here’s the bad news: The Wilpons will stick around for at least five more years.
Team owner Fred Wilpon is reportedly in talks to sell 80 percent of the Mets to billionaire Steve Cohen, according to Bloomberg.com. Cohen is currently an investor in the club.
As part of the deal, however, Fred Wilpon and his son, Jeff, will remain with the team for the next five years, according to Bloomberg.
Fred Wilpon, the team’s principal owner, will remain in his current role for at least five years, at which time Cohen will have a path to controlling the franchise, said the person. Jeff Wilpon, his son, will remain as the team’s chief operating officer for the five-year period, the person said.
At that point, the Wilpons will still retain a piece of the Mets, but Cohen will have control of the franchise.
In an odd twist, former New York Giants running back and current broadcaster Tiki Barber broke the story Tuesday.
Tiki Barber saying the Mets are getting sold? WTF??? pic.twitter.com/nWwLnJ02fv— GC (@gc_rma) December 4, 2019
While most Mets fans will celebrate the news, there’s no guarantee things will be better under Cohen. The 63-year-old Cohen has been involved in some less than savory business dealings over the years. His investment firm, Point72 Asset Management, had a lawsuit filed against it alleging gender discrimination. Cohen was also the founder of S.A.C., a hedge fund that pleaded guilty to engaging in insider trading.
Though the Wilpons are sticking around for five more years, fans could get a sense for how Cohen will operate the team over that period. Cohen won’t become the control person until 2025, but he should have a say in how much payroll the team will assume at that time, among other things.
If the Mets start splurging on players the next couple seasons, that could indicate that Cohen is willing to throw his money around. If not, Mets fans could be in for more of the same.
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