The Mets announced this afternoon that minority owner Steve Cohen and the Sterling Partners (owner Fred Wilpon’s company) are negotiating a deal in which Cohen “would increase his investment in the New York Mets.” The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal first reported the news just minutes before the organization made a formal announcement (Twitter link).
The arrangement would make Cohen the new majority owner of the Mets if it is indeed completed, as Bloomberg reports that the proposed sale of shares would give him an 80 percent share of the team, which is being valued at $2.6 billion. Newsday’s Tim Healey tweets that Cohen would become the Mets’ control person heading into the 2025 season under the current proposal.
Under the terms of the yet-to-be-finalized agreement, Fred Wilpon (the co-founder and senior partner of Sterling Equities) would remain the Mets’ CEO and control person for another five years. His son, Jeff Wilpon, would also remain COO for another five years. Cohen will continue on as CEO of Point72 Asset Management, per the announcement.
Any ownership-level shakeup, of course, can have payroll implications for a team, but there’s no immediate indication that the Mets will increase spending in the near future. To the contrary, multiple reports this week have indicated that the Mets may need to move some undesirable contracts before spending further this winter — a reality that has long since been apparent to any who’ve closely examined the team’s payroll outlook. As for what would happen with regard to team payroll down the line, that can’t be known at this time, but it’s worth highlighting that the Bloomberg Billionaire Index lists Cohen’s net worth at a staggering $9.2 billion.
Today’s announcement seemingly puts a finite window on the Wilpons’ rein atop the organization and, as ESPN’s Buster Olney points out (Twitter link), perhaps explains why the club has been so focused on winning as soon as possible and making splashy moves toward that end. The Wilpon family has long been among the most highly scrutinized ownership groups in all of Major League Baseball, with reports of organizational dysfunction and over-involvement in more granular aspects of day-to-day operations becoming commonplace in recent years.