The New York Mets have made a decision in their multi-year owner search, culminating in the team’s purchase by billionaire businessman Steve Cohen. Cohen purchased the team for a record setting $2.475 billion, the most ever spent on an American sports team.
Cohen beat an offer put together by former MLB star Alex Rodriguez, entering into an exclusive negotiation for the organization in August.
This culminated into a final sale, which the other MLB owners and New York City officials approved of.
“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I congratulate Mr. Cohen on receiving approval from the Major League Clubs,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement on October 30.
The sale ends the 34-year tumultuous ownership by the Wilpon family. In recent years, former owner Fred Wilpon was considered to be one of baseball’s worst.
Over the past 17 seasons, the Mets have only made the playoffs three times. Much of this was due to Wilpon’s refusal to rebuild the club, with fears of what their crosstown rivals the New York Yankees were doing.
Wilpon was also the source of a variety of front office drama and mistakes. For example, instead of accepting blame for the franchise’s recent failures, Wilpon accused former General Manager Sandy Alderson.
This was widely considered to be a bad look for the franchise.
With Cohen’s hiring, a new era of baseball in Flushing has dawned. For Mets fans everywhere, he represents the first step in the right direction for the franchise.
He wasted no time interacting with the fan base, taking to Twitter on November 1.
“I would love to hear your ideas to make YOUR Mets experience better,” Cohen posted on Twitter. The post received thousands of interactions, with Mets fans pitching all kinds of ideas from free agency signings to improving stadium concessions.
In his short time as the Mets’ owner, he has already proven the desire to connect with fans and improve the organization.
In a shortened 2020 MLB season, the Mets finished tied for last in the NL East. However, the roster does have talented building blocks, including 2019 Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso and rising star Michael Conforto.
Going into the 2020 offseason, it is anticipated that the Mets will be buyers for some of the market’s biggest free agents.
With former star Robinson Cano being suspended for the 2021 season without pay due to his second steroid violation, Cohen and the Mets now have an additional $24 million of payroll.
They also have an opening in the infield.
Cohen did not waste any time explaining what he will do with the money.
“Spend it on players,” Cohen said. For a team that was already planning on being liberal with their money this offseason, the additional $24 million makes them a bigger player.
Heading into the offseason, the Mets were expected to make a strong move for former Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto. They have also been linked with Astros’ outfielder George Springer.
With Cano’s suspension, expect the Mets to try and lure AL batting title winner D.J. LeMahieu away from the Yankees.
Pitcher Trevor Bauer also could be added to an already devastating starting rotation when healthy.
On the trade market, the Mets could also be active. Superstars Nolan Arenado and Francisco Lindor could both be looked at as potential fits.