Billionaire Steve Cohen is now in exclusive negotiations to buy the New York Mets, sources confirmed to Yahoo Sports Friday night.
According to David Faber of CNBC, it’s expected a deal will be finalized in the coming days.
The news means the group led by former MLB star Alex Rodriguez and fiancée Jennifer Lopez have dropped out of the negotiating process.
Alex and I are so disappointed!! We worked so hard the past 6 months with the dream of becoming the first minority couple and the first woman owner to buy her father’s favorite Major League Baseball team with her own hard earned money. We still haven’t given up!! #NY4ever pic.twitter.com/sBBkliUjoL
This isn’t the first time Cohen was considered the front runner to buy the Mets. He backed out of a near agreement in February, which opened the door for A-Rod and other bidders to join the process.
Cohen reportedly wasn’t happy about changes the Wilpon family wanted to make during the latter part of the negotiating process. For a time, it was believed Cohen had moved on from buying the Mets. However, reports surfaced over the summer suggesting that he was again gaining traction in talks.
Of course, we haven’t reached the finish line this time, either. If a deal is finalized, Cohen would have to be vetted and confirmed. But it does appears we’re at least one clear step closer to a resolution.
According to Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News, A-Rod’s decision to consult former Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow may have been the final straw for his group. Luhnow was suspended for one-year by the league in January for his role in the team’s sign-stealing scandal. He was immediately fired by Houston, along with manager A.J. Hinch.
The report doesn’t specify what role Luhnow would have played in A-Rod’s group, but it suggests MLB was not comfortable with a disgraced executive who is technically still under suspension being even a small part of the conversation.
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