February 10: Mets COO Jeff Wilpon issued an additional statement on Monday:
As spring training begins, on behalf of ownership, we would like to share more information explaining why the proposed transaction has ended, however due to confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements we are unable to do so at this time. So right now, I believe we need to focus on the future and not in the past and that’s what we intend to do. We would like to assure our fans that we will continue our commitment to winning in 2020 and beyond and we’ll work hard to earn and maintain everyone’s confidence and trust. We’ll be moving forward to find a new transaction. We will not be giving details or updates on the timeline or process until we are prepared to make a public announcement. Thank you, that’s all I can say for now.
There’s little, if anything, within Wilpon’s statement that wasn’t already covered in the Sterling Partners statement, although it’s of some note to see a second quote (this one directly attributable to an individual member of the Wilpon family) clearly announcing ownership’s intent to find a new buyer.
February 6: Now that the proposed deal that would have seen Steve Cohen become the Mets’ new majority owner has fallen through, the club is still going to be put on the market. In a statement released to media, the Sterling Partners ownership group said “The transaction between Sterling and Steve Cohen was a highly complicated one. Despite the efforts of the parties over the past several months, it became apparent that the transaction as contemplated would have been too difficult to execute. Sterling intends now to pursue a new transaction and has engaged Allen & Company to manage that process.”
This may be relieving news for Mets fans, many of whom abhor the team’s current ownership. The duo of Fred Wilpon and Jeff Wilpon took the Mets’ reins in 2002, but success has been hard to come by since then for the club. New York has made just three playoff appearances under Wilpon leadership, and ownership has come under scrutiny time and again for the way it has handled the team.
Had Cohen ended up as the majority owner of the franchise, he’d have reportedly taken 80 percent of the Mets for approximately $2.6 billion. Cohen would have officially grabbed the reins going into 2025, so even if the Wilpons do find someone to take his place immediately, it may be awhile before that person assumes control of the organization.