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#pounditFriday, August 7, 2020

Articles tagged: New York Mets

Investor Wayne Rothbaum reportedly interested in buying Mets

New York Mets

The New York Mets are still looking for a new owner, and a possible investor has emerged.

The New York Post reported on Thursday that billionaire Wayne Rothbaum has interest in buying the team, but only at a discount.

The Post’s Thornton McEnery says Rothbaum is only interested in buying the team at a significant discount, like for around $1 billion. That would be a massive change from the $2.6 billion price Steve Cohen was willing to pay before his deal with the Mets fell apart. However, there is one significant difference: Rothbaum would not want cable channel SNY included in the deal, which is why his price would be so much lower than Cohen’s.

The Mets probably have no interest in selling for that much of a discount. But Rothbaum likely views this as an opportune time to low ball the owners with an offer given all the uncertainty, the Wilpons’ shaky financial situation, and the likelihood of teams losing money this year. Interestingly, Alex Rodriguez has reportedly been exploring the possibility of buying the Mets too.

Rothbaum is listed as the president and founder of Quogue Capital LLC, as well as the founder of Acerta Pharma BV.

Report: Mets still trying to find new owner during pandemic

New York Mets

Not long ago, the New York Mets were worth $2.6 billion as part of a sale. Now, things are a lot different.

According to Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic, the Mets are still pushing for a sale as soon as possible. Allen & Co., the adviser to the Wilpon family, has continued to try to find potential buyers for the franchise. They have been unsuccessful thus far.

A large amount of this is due to global events. The coronavirus pandemic has led to major losses in the stock market, significantly hurting the finances of potential buyers. Kaplan believes any sale of the Mets that would take place right now would be for significantly less than the $2.6 billion that Steve Cohen was set to buy them for before that deal fell through in early February.

The reality is, if the Wilpons want fair value on the franchise, they’re going to have to wait it out. The price they’ll get in a sagging economy with no baseball being played is not going to be ideal. They may have to hold on for a while before finding a buyer.

Jed Lowrie does not seem happy with Mets about injury

New York Mets

Jed Lowrie’s New York Mets career has been completely marred by injury, and that has continued into 2020.

Lowrie is dealing with a knee problem, and the Mets have not given any timetable for his possible return. Lowrie wasn’t telling either — and there was more than a hint of frustration in his response when asked about it on Wednesday.

Maybe the Mets have told Lowrie not to talk, but he certainly doesn’t sound thrilled with where he’s at. It could just be frustration, too.

The Mets looked into trading Lowrie before the season, but his injury status made that impossible. It definitely seems like there’s some friction here.

Are Mets breaking promise to Michael Wacha about starting in 2020?

New York Mets

The New York Mets have six starting pitchers for five spots in their rotation, which is not abnormal for many teams in spring training. What is abnormal is telling all six of those pitchers that they intend to be used as starters before considering some unusual options for the fifth rotation spot.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets are considering some unconventional options for their fifth starter spot. Among them is using both Steven Matz and Michael Wacha in the role depending on whether a lefty or righty would match up best against that day’s lineup. The Mets are also considering using an opener and then using Matz or Wacha for bulk innings afterwards.

This may come as news to Wacha, who believed he was in a battle with Matz for the traditional fifth starter’s job.

“They told me I’m a starter, so that’s what I’m here for,” Wacha said, via Scott Thompson of SNY.

There may have been reason for Wacha to be suspicious when signing his contract. According to Sherman, Wacha’s deal with the Mets includes various bonuses based on relief appearances. Wacha signed with the Mets believing he’d get the chance to start, and if he didn’t know about those clauses, it’s probably on his agent.

The Mets have something of a reputation of being an organization that can be unfriendly to its players. If the Mets aren’t being honest with Wacha and Matz about what they’re considering doing rotation-wise, it will only add to that narrative.

Report: James Dolan could be interested in buying SNY from Mets owners

James Dolan

As the Wilpon family looks set to get out of ownership, there are assets other than the New York Mets organization itself that could be available for purchase.

One of those is SNY, the cable home of the Mets that is partially owned by the Wilpons. According to Thornton McEnery of the New York Post, Knicks owner James Dolan could be interested in purchasing SNY to merge it with MSG Network, forming a network that owns both basketball and baseball games.

There is some belief that Dolan could even look at forming part of an ownership group to buy the Mets, but this is seen as less likely.

“Jim Dolan buying the Mets sounds crazy at first,” one banker with knowledge of both Dolan and the Mets sale told the Post. “But he has always wanted to merge [the MSG Network] with another local sports channel. He needs baseball, and that might require taking a shot at the Mets.”

Owning SNY would allow for a year-round revenue stream with live sports. Major League Baseball, however, is unlikely to be pleased with the prospect of any Dolan ownership.

Mets ownership speculation opened up in a major way after things fell through with prospective buyer Steve Cohen. It has led to some pretty wild chatter, and Dolan is unlikely to be the last big name we hear linked to this.

Report: Alex Rodriguez interested in buying Mets

Alex Rodriguez

A surprise name has emerged in potential bidding for the New York Mets.

According to Thornton McEnery of the New York Post, Alex Rodriguez is “kicking the tires” on a possible bid for the Mets. Rodriguez was a childhood Mets fan who has gotten into business since his retirement.

“[Rodriguez] genuinely loves the Mets,” said source told the Post. “He and J-Lo have talked about him buying a team ever since Jeter got the Marlins.”

Any bid may be a longshot. The Mets may cost in the neighborhood of $3 billion, which likely means Rodriguez would have to partner with wealthy investors as part of an ownership group.

Regardless of how serious the possibility is, this would be quite the story. Jeter and Rodriguez would be NL East owners together, and it probably would give the Mets some added credibility. A-Rod has certainly dabbled in business since retirement, but this would be an entirely new level.

Report: Mets owners seeking new buyer, would give up control immediately

New York Mets

The New York Mets are still for sale, and any new deal could result in an even quicker exit by the current owners.

After a deal with billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen fell through, the Wilpon family has put the Mets back on the market, according to Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg. As part of any new deal, the family would be willing to cede control immediately instead of in five years as they sought to do in the Cohen deal.

However, as a result, the price tag will likely be more than the $2.6 billion that Cohen was set to pay, as would be logical for a sale that comes with immediate control.

The Cohen deal fell apart quickly over disagreements over control, and perhaps that has taught the Wilpons a lesson. The franchise will be worth a ton based in New York, and there is upside for any potential buyer. This also means there’s still hope for the many Mets fans who are dissatisfied with the Wilpon family’s ownership. Something could still change quickly.