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Mets lay off 25 employees, sources say

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon Wilpon speaks during the

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon Wilpon speaks during the Mets 1969 World Series Championship 50th anniversary celebration at Citi Field on June 29, 2019. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Mets laid off 25 people last week, sources told Newsday.

Chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon informed the rest of the organization of the layoffs on Friday. He told employees that if MLB is able to play its planned 60-game season — which is far from a certainty — that the Mets should be able to avoid more people losing their jobs. Trust in that sentiment was not universal among Mets employees.

Twenty-five layoffs, spread across a variety of departments, represented about 5% of the Mets’ total workforce.

None of the lost jobs were in baseball operations, according to people familiar with the team’s changes.

The layoffs came on the cusp of baseball’s delayed season starting up again amid the coronavirus pandemic, which for baseball teams has meant a near-total loss of revenue. In late April, the Mets announced salary cuts ranging from 5-30% — depending on an individual’s pay rate — for every employee starting June 1.

That lasted less than a month before Wilpon took further action.

A Mets spokesman said the lost jobs were part of a “periodic review” of the organization’s structure, staffing and efficiency.

Major-league teams have taken different approaches to handling pandemic-induced money problems. The Royals and Twins, for example, have told employees that there will be no layoffs or furloughs. The Angels furloughed people in nearly every department, and the Pirates have made multiple rounds of layoffs. The Red Sox made pay cuts but avoided lost jobs. The Yankees haven’t made any changes, but they haven’t made any promises, either.

The Wilpon family, meanwhile, is trying to sell the Mets, a process that started over in February when a deal with multibillionaire Steve Cohen fell apart. He was going to buy up to 80% of the team in a transaction that valued the club at a would-be record $2.6 billion.

Now, it is not clear how much the Mets will go for. Among those interested in bidding on the team are a group of investors headlined by celebrity couple Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez. Josh Harris and David Blitzer, owners of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, also are interested.

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