Wilpons in talks to sell up to 80 percent of their interest in the Mets

Craig Calcaterra

Bloomberg is reporting that the current owners of the Mets are in talks to sell up to 80% of the team to billionaire Steve Cohen, who is currently a minority owner investor in the club. The transaction would value the team at $2.6 billion. Bloomberg says the Mets confirmed the talks in a statement.

Those Mets fans who dislike current owner Fred Wilpon and his son, team president Jeff Wilpon, should not get too happy just yet. Why?

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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.

That said, if the Wilpons — whose financial setbacks over the years are said to be the primary the reason the huge-market Mets spend like a mid-market team — are no longer the actual controlling owners, it’s possible that they may get a green light to spend from Cohen in ways they haven’t in the past.

Guess we’ll see.

Cohen has long sought to own a team outright. His original investment in the Mets was with an eye toward, eventually, buying the team if he could. After that he was in talks to purchase the Dodgers and, later, made an effort to purchase the Padres. Now, it seems, he’ll have a chance, finally, to join baseball’s ownership club.

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