Less than a month after parting ways with Carlos Beltran, who was implicated in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, before he could manage a game and less than a week after a proposed sale of the team fell through, Rodriguez has surfaced as a potential buyer of the National League club.
Already a polarizing figure for Yankees fans in New York because of his at-times controversial playing career, A-Rod could soon find himself in a similar love-hate relationship with Mets fans if he can pull off a multi-billion-dollar deal.
The New York Mets owners are seeking big money
New York Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz settled a lawsuit against them by victims of the Bernie Madoff scandal for $162 million in 2012. They sold 48% of the Mets around the same time for $240 million.
The Wilpon family is now looking to cash out, putting a price on their stake that values the franchise at somewhere between $2.6 billion and $3.25 million.
A sale fell apart last week when prospective buyer Steve Cohen balked at having to leave the Wilpons in control of the team for five years, and now The New York Post has reported that Alex Rodriguez is “kicking the tires” on the idea entering the bidding.
A-Rod, who was born in Manhattan and played for the New York Yankees from 2004-2016, was a Mets fan while growing up. He has remained close to the sport as a TV analyst and has immense name recognition after a career including 696 regular-season home runs.
Does Alex Rodriguez have the money to buy the Mets?
Alex Rodriquez is worth in excess of $300 million, but that’s not nearly enough to buy even a small-market MLB team, let alone the Mets. However, he is engaged to entertainer Jennifer Lopez, who is said to be worth $400 million.
The two of them could take a stake in the Mets and recruit others to buy the remainder of the club, with the expectation being that Rodriguez would be the managing partner and the face of the Mets.
One positive sign for Rodriguez is that the Wilpons are now said to be willing to relinquish control of the Mets immediately. In addition, a rivalry between A-Rod’s Mets and Yankees Hall of Famer Derek Jeter in the National League East would benefit the sport, making it easier for MLB’s other owners to approve the sale.
There are significant factors working against A-Rod, beginning with the fact that Steve Cohen might still be in the running to buy the Mets. Also, MLB owners are reluctant to approve sales to large groups, which are susceptible to infighting. Also, there is a time-consuming vetting process every time one of the partners seeks to sell to an outsider.
How did Derek Jeter gain control of the Miami Marlins?
The Marlins sold for a relatively inexpensive $1.2 billion, with Jeter having to put down only $25 million of his own money. He brought in 15 other investors at an average of close to $80 million apiece but was able to install himself as the primary decision-maker.