Steve Cohen, chairman and chief executive officer of SAC Captial Advisors...

Steve Cohen, chairman and chief executive officer of SAC Captial Advisors LP, speaks during the Robin Hood Veterans Summit in New York on May 7, 2012.  Credit: Bloomberg/Scott Eells

The Mets’ Wilpon era appears to be close to ending — for real this time.

Hedge-fund multibillionaire Steve Cohen, whose first deal for the Mets fell through in February, became the last bidder standing Friday night when he entered exclusive talks with the Wilpons to buy the team, a source confirmed to Newsday.

The other finalists are no longer in the running. That included a group of investors led by celebrity couple Alex Rod-riguez and Jennifer Lopez, as well as private equity duo Josh Harris and David Blitzer.

It came down to money. First-round bids were around $2 billion, and it was going to be nearly impossible for anyone to top Cohen, whose estimated net worth is at least $13 billion.

In a statement released by the couple on their social media accounts, Rodriguez and Lopez said they had a “fully funded offer at a record price.”

“The consortium led by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez has informed the Mets that they are no longer pursuing the acquisition of the team,” the statement read in part. “The consortium said that they are disappointed to not be part of the revitalization of New York City and provide an exhilarating experience for the fans and wish the Wilpon family and the entire Mets organization well.”

Harris and Blitzer, whose collection of pro sports teams includes the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils, were not expected to compete at the same financial level as Cohen and Rodriguez/Lopez.

“We won’t be giving details or updates on the timeline or process until we are prepared to make a public announcement,” Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said through a team spokesman.

Allen & Co., the Manhattan-based boutique investment bank hired by the Wilpons to oversee the process, did not respond to a request for comment. It had informed bidders that final offers were due Monday, but everyone involved wound up beating that deadline by three days.

Cohen and the Wilpons have been here before. In December, Sterling Equities — the Wilpon-Katz family business that owns the Mets — announced that Cohen was in talks to up his stake in the team to 80% in a deal that would have valued the Mets at a baseball-record $2.6 billion. He has been a minority owner since 2012 and currently owns 8% of the club.

That agreement fell through because of a disagreement about the continued involvement of chief executive officer Fred Wilpon and his son, Jeff. Under the terms of the original deal, both would have maintained their titles and power for five years after Cohen bought the team. The Wilpons have been trying to sell the team ever since, and Cohen has been the perceived favorite despite their history.

A Great Neck native who lives in Connecticut, Cohen made his fortune on Wall Street. His financial might along with his personal interest in the Mets — he is a lifelong fan, having first gone to games with his grandfather at the Polo Grounds — was a combination other interested parties could not match. He didn’t formally get back into the bidding until last month, but as Rodriguez tried to find the money and others expressed interest, he lurked for months, waiting to see which challengers would emerge.

Now Cohen is closer than ever to winning out — under much more favorable terms. The five-year window of Wilpon control is gone. The ultimate price is not yet known, but it is not expected to match the $2.6 billion valuation from last winter — in part because the coronavirus pandemic has wrought havoc on major league teams’ finances.