Yes, the Mets Are Still for Sale. No, the Owners Don’t Have to Sell Them.

With the start of the season less than two months away, the Wilpons have put the Mets back on the trading block. What happens next is anyone’s guess.

Comments: 22

  1. Kevin - You say the Wilpons "don't really need" to sell the team, but you cite no firm sources. It would certainly be in the Wilpons' interest to float that scenario. So b/c you only cite anonymous sources "familiar with the Wilpon family" I'll take that claim with a few large grains of salt.

  2. @gene99 If the Wilpons were only 52% owners as of 2014, but have been able to buy back an additional 28% of the team in recent years, it would suggest their financial position has vastly improved (not that we've seen evidence of that in the form of investment in talent).

  3. @gene99 The fact that the Wilpons now have the ability to repurchase shares that were sold years ago in a desperate bid to raise cash really demonstrates that their cash flow situation has improved. Nonetheless, the Wilpons biggest payday looms when they ring the register on a sale of the team. Personally, I will rejoice when the Mets are sold, a lot like Marlins fans did when their previous owner sold that team to Derek Jeter & Co. The one reality that tempers my enthusiasm is the sale of the Marlins hasn't really improved the state of that franchise. I have to imagine they're saddled with a huge amount of debt, hopefully we don't suffer the same fate.

  4. @Chris point taken.

  5. The Mets were a lot more interesting when Basement Bertha owned the team years back.

  6. Are the Wilpons committed to putting a winning team on the field? Or is this really about estate planning,multiple egos and squeezing the last buck for a wealthy family’s bottom line?

  7. @Milton Lewis All of the above. They don't mind a winning team, but what they really want is a team like last years that they can say "was competing for a wildcard spot" when they were basically a mediocre team just above .500, and get fans dumb enough to shell out hundreds to go see a game into the stands. Jeff Wilpon figures into this the most, Jeff Wilpon is like Jimmy Dolan, they were put into running the teams because the father realized the kid was too stupid to work in the core business (I am sure Fred's wife was the one pushing that Jeffie end up COO even past the 5 year window). The Wilpons basically are as shady as Bernie Madoff, they sell it as they are trying to give the fans a winning team, while their real goal is getting money from fans for as mediocre a team as they dare put on the field. The ultimate answer? Mets fans don't show up, when they have trouble breaking 1 million fans a year, that would crimp SNY, and also would make the value of the team plummet and make the rest of the family push harder to sell it. My prediction? Like that Times Square "Going out of Business Sale" from prior decades, that lasted forever, the Mets will be 'for sale', giving fans enough hope to show up, while never ending.

  8. Compromising my principles by cheering on Steve Cohen is only the latest example of the bizarre ways that the curse of the Mets fan manifests itself. See also: wild boars and taxi cabs.

  9. SNY should develop a series called the "Mess Show". The Mets are a soap opera of MLB.

  10. "Wilpons don’t really need to sell the team, or even a part of it, today. " But they want investors to pay the higher valuation per share and leave the decision making and control in their "capable hands". A smart investor would be foolish to do so. Walk on by.

  11. What strikes me most about the Wilpons is their privileged and pampered lack of self- or other-awareness, including awareness of the legion upon legion of fans who loathe them and would give their eye tooth for sane, rational management. It's probably the same lack of awareness that has turned family members against them.

  12. Families like the Wilpons, grifters that they are, make one wish that Bernie Madoff had taken a larger bite out of their fortune. The best that Mets fans can do is vote with their feet and non-Mets TV watching. Perhaps the Mets have to fall farther before a more public-spirited ownership will get this franchise competitive.

  13. I gave up on the Mets for good back during the financial crisis, when my girlfriend at the time, who lived in Queens, was part of a mass firing by Citigroup due to the 2008 financial crisis. Nonetheless, Citi had the resources to buy the naming right for Citifield, and she had to suffer the additional indignity of passing by that sign every time she took the 7 train for an interview, desperately trying to find employment and save her home from foreclosure. And there were lots of Citi employees who were fired who I imagine found themselves in the same situation.

  14. During the years I lived in NYC, the only time I went to see the Mets is when the SF Giants came to town with Willie Mays and the other great players. The Mets were always fumbling during the early year with players like Swoboda having the ball he was supposed to easily catch ending up on his head. The team got a little better during the later years. I wish them well in their attempt to sell the team. Good luck Mets, don't forget the old saying 'You gotta believe'

  15. Isn’t it a conflict of interest that Bradley Wilpon works for Allen & Co?

  16. What drives me nuts is that billionaires can buy nearly anything they want in the world, even the presidency of the United States...the Mets are off the table though.

  17. I’d be happy to buy the team! I don’t have two billion dollars, but I could sell some stuff on eBay and raise twelve dollars and fifty-nine cents. Whaddya say, Fred? I’m a lifelong Mets fan!

  18. I'll buy them. Los Angeles Mets.

  19. I wouldn't normally sympathize with the trials and tribulations of a hedge fund billionaire but what exactly would a new owner be buying? Naming rights as "owner" of the Mets? I just watched an old Curb where the former owner of Larry's house keeps sneaking in to nurse back to health a ficus that he has neglected. The hedge fund billionaire (Larry) should be free to do whatever he wants with the Mets (the ficus) without any input from the Wilpons (the former owner(s)).

  20. "...essentially allowing the Wilpons to take money from one pocket and put it into another" the gist of the entire article.

  21. The author refers to the "family" but it's not a singular entity. Having read ALL the articles about the Cohen negotiations and aftermath, it is clear that ONLY Jeff Wilpon (and maybe Fred, but he's in his 80's so he doesn't care so much anymore) wants to keep the team--because it's his identity and his job and it's all he knows--whereas the ENTIRETY of the remaining members of the broader Wilpon-Katz business-clan want to cash out and move on. And now, as Bloomberg news reported a few days ago, that these remaining members of the business-clan have RAILED at JW for blowing the deal with Cohen, the team is now being offered without precondition of ongoing control by the Wilpons. Therefore, of course, Cohen should step right back up to the plate (haha). Prediction: Cohen gets this deal done.

  22. So how much do the Katz family own, or are you lumping them in with the Wilson’s?