Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Jeff Wilpon are considering selling the franchise, though they may not make out as well as they hope if a deal does come together. Rumored bidder Wayne Rothbaum does indeed have interest in taking the Mets off the Wilpons’ hands, but only at a reduced price, according to Thornton McEnery of the New York Post.
“I think he likes the idea of $1 billion,” a source told McEnery. “It’s a round number and the Wilpons are not holding any cards without SNY.”
That wouldn’t be an ideal outcome for the Wilpons, whose financial situation has taken a hit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if half of a baseball season takes place this year, the Wilpons could lose up to $150MM, per McEnery.
Before the league shut down because of the coronavirus, the Wilpons nearly agreed to sell an 80 percent stake in the Mets to Steve Cohen for $2.6 billion, but those plans fell through. That transaction wouldn’t have included the SNY network, either. The Mets have recently been valued at $1.6 billion without SNY in the mix, writes McEnery, who hears that the idea of Cohen purchasing the team still isn’t off the table. A source told him “he’s the only one that makes sense” as a possible buyer.
Rothbaum, meanwhile, was part of the $1.2 billion bidding for the Marlins in 2017, but the team ended up going to a group headed by Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. If Rothbaum does eventually land the Mets, it’s possible one of Jeter’s former teammates could be a member of his ownership group. There has been talk of Alex Rodriguez and fiancee Jennifer Lopez owning some portion of a Rothbaum-led Mets franchise.