Even in this coronavirus-induced sports desert, Alex Rodriguez is finding a way to stay relevant — and it has to do with his favorite childhood team, the Mets.
The former Yankees star and his fiancée, Jennifer Lopez, have hired JPMorgan Chase to raise money for their possible bid for the Mets, according to a report Monday from Variety.
The Mets have been for sale since February, when the Wilpons’ $2.6 billion deal with hedge-fund multibillionaire Steve Cohen fell through two months after they announced they were negotiating a sale.
Because they don’t have nearly enough money to buy the Mets on their own — their combined net worth is estimated at about $700 million — Rodriguez and Lopez would need money from next-level-rich investors to fund any potential purchase of a major-league team.
That is in effect the model followed by Rodriguez’s former teammate, Derek Jeter, who owns a small percentage of the Marlins but oversees daily operations as chief executive officer. As he sought to buy the team in 2017, Jeter recruited Bruce Sherman, a Florida resident and venture capitalist who became the principal owner after that $1.2 billion deal. Jeter contributed $25 million and earns a $5 million annual salary (which he has suspended during baseball’s indefinite hiatus).
In the case of the Mets, it is not clear if there are any serious bidders yet. The Wilpons are no longer insisting on retaining control of the team for five years after the sale, a demand that doomed the Cohen deal. SNY is not believed to be a part of any transaction.
The Mets have not commented on the sale process since Feb. 10, when chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon issued a statement that said, in part, “We'll be moving forward to find a new transaction.” Managing the Mets’ end-of-the-sale process is Steve Greenberg of Allen & Company, a Manhattan-based boutique investment bank with which the Wilpons have a longstanding relationship.