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MLB doesn't expect 'governance issues' with pending sale of Mets to Steve Cohen

Steve Cohen speaks during the Robin Hood Veterans

Steve Cohen speaks during the Robin Hood Veterans Summit on Monday, May 7, 2012.  Credit: Bloomberg/Scott Eells

SAN DIEGO — Major League Baseball doesn’t expect any “governance issues” as a result of Steve Cohen’s pending purchase of the Mets, which would leave the Wilpons in charge for five years, commissioner Rob Manfred said Wednesday.

Under the proposed agreement, Fred Wilpon will remain the “control person” — the top decision-maker in the eyes of MLB — and chief executive officer even while Cohen becomes the majority owner. Jeff Wilpon is slated to stay as the chief operating officer for that half-decade.

That would position Cohen to become the control person after the 2024 season.

The arrangement is unusual but not unprecedented.

“We have had situations where, particularly with path-to-control cases like this, where someone who owns more is not actually the control person for a period of time,” Manfred said at the winter meetings. “Steve Cohen and Fred Wilpon have known each other for a long time. Steve has been limited [owner] in the club for a long time. I do not expect there will be any governance issues associated with the plan that they have in place for the transition of the Mets.”

In accordance with MLB rules, the Mets told Manfred they were going to explore a sale of the team before they began to do so, Manfred said. He added that he didn’t remember when that happened.

“The way ownership guidelines work, I have to be notified before they begin the process of even marketing the team and then kept apprised as they make progress in that sale process,” Manfred said. “And those guidelines were followed to a tee.”

Extra bases

The Mets were among the teams who engaged with free-agent righthander Blake Treinen — one of the top relievers available — a source said, but he agreed to a reported one-year, $10 million deal with the Dodgers on Wednesday. … Mets pitchers and catchers report to spring training Feb. 10, with their first workout Feb. 12. Position players report 14. The first full-squad workout is Feb. 16.

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