And then there were four. the New York Mets sale saga moves closer to an ens as only four ownership groups remain in the bidding war.
Scott Soshnick of Sportico is reporting that the New York Mets are down to four bidders. Hedge-fund billionaire Steve Cohen, sports owners Joshua Harris and David Blitzer, celebrity couple Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez, and a mystery bidder. Soshnick also reports that SNY is off the table.
Steve Cohen is the favorite in every sense of the word. He has the most money to spend, his $2 billion bid was the highest in the first round, and he’s the fans’ choice. It should be no surprise that he’s moving on to round two.
Harris and Blitzer are seen by most as the most likely second place right now. They have enough money to up their bid if need be, they have a combined $6.6 billion in net worth, and have experience purchasing and running sports franchises already. In fact, they are the principal owners of two American sports franchises — the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils.
Their opening bid is currently unknown, but the New York Post reported it was in the neighborhood of $1.7 billion. That puts them in the same league as J-Rod’s bid.
It might comes a shock to some to see J-Rod get this far. The celebrity couple nearly dropped out of the running months ago due to a lack of finances. Now they’ve put together a bid in the region of $1.7 to $2 billion. That puts them square in the hunt to purchase the Queens-based franchise.
It doesn’t hurt that their bid is stacked with star-power. Aside from Rodriguez and Lopez, the bid also features a number of current and former athletes. There’s no telling how the Wilpons or MLB feel about the potential marketing ability of such a star-studded group. It could be enough to tip the scales back in the favor of J-Rod despite their initial bid being lower than Cohen’s.
The mystery bidder is the real wild card here. It’s likely not the Reuben Brothers or Kurt Rappaport since both of them are known bidders. It’s either going to be someone who has hidden their interest well or potentially someone who hasn’t even entered the bidding yet.
One possibility is C.K. McWhorter’s ownership group. They were not on the original list of seven bidders pre-approved by MLB. Yet, he’s known to be pushing for a shot to bid on the team. He’s lined up a $1.8 billion bid and even has an endorsement from Mets legend Darryl Strawberry.
The race is finally moving again. With only four bidders left, Mets fans should have hope that a deal does get done before the end of the year.