Steve Cohen certainly enjoys an eclectic social circle: Chris Christie, Charlie Rose and Woody Allen, Guy Fieri, Ed Butowsky, art dealer William Acquavella, a pig named Romeo, the brothers of Theta Chapter of Zeta Beta Tau, Steve Mnuchin’s dad. But perhaps his strangest and most enduring friendship is that with former New York Yankees third baseman and fellow disgraced public figure Alex Rodriguez. And it may yet prove the key to Cohen realizing a dream almost as fervently desired as his famed rendezvous with the visionary behind donkey sauce.
You see, Steve Cohen still very much wants to buy a baseball team. Since the Newark Bears are no more, he’d still very much like it to be the team he grew up rooting for, the New York Mets. Certainly, he (and possibly only he) has the cash to make it happen. In this ambition, he has his supporters. There’s just one problem.
“The league wants to see someone with liquidity,” one source familiar with the league said. “They want someone with a lot of cash to run the Mets and avoid the second coming of the Wilpons. To be frank, they want Steve Cohen to come back to the table….”
“They’d rather sell to someone for less money than sell to Steve Cohen,” one Mets insider said. “There is so much bad blood there.”
This is where A-Rod comes in. For, as ever, A-Rod wishes to both follow in the footsteps of his erstwhile friend and teammate Derek Jeter, and also one-up him. Therefore, A-Rod would also like to own a baseball team, and he and fiancée Jennifer Lopez are planning to buy one.
According to multiple sources familiar with the situation, J-Rod is assembling an ownership group of four to five people who could pay up front for the entire franchise…. “He’s got a group with some real names,” one source familiar with the J-Rod bid told The Post. “Alex is gonna get this because of COVID. It’s gonna fall in his lap.”
The key name is apparently Miami billionaire Jorge Mas, who got beat out for his local nine by none other than Derek Jeter and his financial backers. Even if the ever-hard-up-for-money Wilpons are as desperate to sell as reported, and even if the coronavirus pandemic—what with it’s potential season-cancelling implications—cut the price of the Mets by half from the $3.1 billion valuation the Cohen deal offered, that’s still a tight squeeze for the combination of Rod, Lo and Mas, whose combined net worth is probably less than $2 billion. And since the league wants someone with liquidity—in other words, someone who won’t be quite as embarrassingly indebted as, say, the Wilpons or Jeter’s ownership group in Miami—that might not be enough. Oh, yea, and there’s another problem.
“A-Rod has approached Miami businessman Jorge Mas, who came close to buying the Marlins, about joining forces in a potential Mets bid,” Heyman tweeted Tuesday. “But Mas declined the offer.”
Any idea where else J-Rod could find a couple billion dollars cash to buy a certain baseball team?
A source with knowledge of the situation told amNewYork Metro that Rodriguez and Lopez’s interest in possibly buying the Mets from the Wilpon family could open an avenue for Cohen to buy the team “at a discount….”
Shortly after the failed deal, a report from Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic revealed that sports bankers and lawyers connected with the sale of the Mets believe Cohen was still “waiting in the wings,” which could scare prospective buyers away.
With no preconditions regarding control of the team this time around, however, Cohen could be the deep-pocketed help Rodriguez and Lopez need to mount a legitimate charge toward Mets ownership.