Alex Rodriguez’s fledgling longshot attempt to buy the Mets appears to be over.
Rodriguez and fiancée Jennifer Lopez, who had been trying to find a mega-rich partner in recent weeks, are bailing on their bid for the Mets, according to a report Thursday from the New York Post.
For all the buzz their Mets interest received because of their fame, it is not clear that Rodriguez and Lopez ever got very far in that process. Last month, they hired JPMorgan Chase to raise money for their bid, a move one industry source referred to as “pretty standard practice.”
The issue was always money. Rodriguez and Lopez have a combined estimated net worth of $700 million, nowhere near enough to buy a major-league team, never mind a big-market one like the Mets. So their path to obtaining the club needed to go through an even wealthier person who would put up most of the money — a big ask at any time, but especially during this period of economic uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The couple tried with Jorge Mas, a Miami billionaire who tried to buy the Marlins in 2017, but he wasn’t interested, according to multiple reports. Biotech investor Wayne Rothbaum might be interested in the Mets, the Post previously reported, but only if the cost drops to around $1 billion.
A hangup for interested parties: The Wilpons do not want to include SNY, which produces a profit, unlike the Mets themselves. The Mets alone reportedly lose tens of millions of dollars per year.
Pinning a price on the Mets is difficult because of the economic downturn. Steve Cohen, the multibillionaire hedge-fund boss, was going to obtain 80 percent of the Mets in a deal that valued the organization at $2.6 billion, which would have been a baseball record. That deal fell apart in February over who would control the team after Cohen, who is already a minority owner, bought it.
That was right before spring training, before the pandemic hit. But a line from Cohen’s statement then rings even more true now: “As an 8% holder I’m looking forward to a higher bid for the team.”
A source close to Cohen has maintained in recent weeks that Cohen is not preparing another bid for the team.