According to multiple high-ranking MLB sources, the approval of Steve Cohen as Mets owner is not yet a sure thing, and it certainly isn’t a formality. In fact, there has been quite a bit of conversation this week in baseball circles about how much the Wilpons and Cohen might need to worry about the vote.
Having said that, Sandy Alderson’s appointment of Cohen should go a long way to assuage concerns about Cohen. We will be very surprised if it doesn’t ultimately clinch a win for Cohen.
The concerns from competitors about Cohen spring largely from a fear among his competitors that he will spend wildly on player payroll during a time when the industry is experiencing a downturn. This might seem ludicrous to a Mets fan or a person with basic common sense, but it is the truth.
Multiple league sources continue to say that White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf might oppose Cohen. Reinsdorf strongly denied that last week in a statement to SNY, but the belief in the industry remains persistent.
It is now Cohen’s job to collect votes -- he needs 23 of 29 in order to be approved -- and convince any doubters that he will run the team in a way they deem responsible.
Alderson’s reputation, and his plan for the Mets, is to build a sustainable contender with strong infrastructure. Look for him to invest in research in development, cutting-edge conditioning and training methods and analytics. Alderson would combine that with targeted big spending, as he did when the time was right in both Oakland and New York.
That will be the pitch that Cohen must make to other owners. And while people connected to the process don’t anticipate a unanimous approval for Cohen, the presence of Alderson should create the needed support to win the vote.