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Jeff Wilpon: Mets have 'four or five suitors'

New York Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon

New York Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon during a 50th anniversary ceremony to commemorate the 1969 Mets World Series Championship at Citi Field on  June 29, 2019. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said the team has “four or five suitors," double what is publicly known, but otherwise spoke in vague generalities and left a lot to the imagination during an appearance Thursday night.

“The team will have some kind of transaction,” Wilpon said during a panel for UJA-Federation of New York, a Jewish philanthropic organization, according to a transcription reported by Bleacher Report. “I can’t tell you exactly what it’s going to be and how it’s going to look, but we’re working towards a transaction and there’s four or five suitors that are out there to do something with.

“[There is] a bunch of philanthropic planning and family planning that my dad [Fred Wilpon] and uncle [Saul Katz] want to do, and it’s totally fine. And when we have something to truly announce and tell you about, we’ll do that. Not going to play the speculation game.”

It is not clear why Wilpon called it “some kind of transaction,” as opposed to a sale of the team, but that is consistent with the language he used in February. After the deal with hedge-fund multibillionaire Steve Cohen — which would have valued the Mets at $2.6 billion, highest of any MLB team ever — fell apart, Wilpon referred to it as a “proposed transaction.”

The parties known to be interested in buying the Mets are Josh Harris and David Blitzer, who own the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, and noted couple Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez, sources have said.

Rodriguez and Lopez are far more famous, but Harris and Blitzer are far wealthier. Harris’ net worth alone is about $5 billion, according to Forbes, while Rodriguez and Lopez combine for about $700 million.

Cohen, who grew up a Mets fan in Great Neck, is worth between $9 billion and $13 billion, according to various estimates.

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