According to several sources familiar with the situation, J-Rod gathers a group of owners of four to five people who could pay in advance for the entire franchise. But insiders also point out that the Wilpon family, who have been trying to sell the team for months, may have to accept a low offer due to the financial impact of the pandemic.
“He has a group with real names,” a source close to J-Rod’s candidacy told The Post. “Alex is going to have this because of COVID. It’ll fall on his knees. “
Multiple sources claim that the main money player in the arrangement put in place by investment bankers at JPMorgan appears to be Miami billionaire Jorge Mas, who attempted to buy the Miami Marlins in 2017, but has lost to a group led by the former Yankees of A-Rod. Teammate and longtime enemy, Derek Jeter.
Forbes estimated Mas’s net worth at just over $ 1 billion. Mas is no stranger to the installation of living sporting legends in proprietary positions, having staked much of David Beckham’s offer in Major League Soccer’s new franchise, Inter Miami.
“I can see Mas being A-Rod’s money guy here,” said a source close to the Miami player. “He and Alex went to the same high school and [both have a connection with the University of Miami]. They are birds of a feather. “
But while Mas may not have as deep pockets as the Mets’ last contender, the $ 11 billion funder Steve Cohen – who had an agreement to pay $ 2.6 billion for 80% of the team before collapsing dramatically in February – it might not matter, as the Wilpons are now seen as desperate to unload the team.
“A motivated salesperson has a problem right now,” a source close to the Wilpons told The Post. “I think the Wilpons are motivated sellers. “
With the season indefinitely postponed by the pandemic, the Mets earn almost no revenue from tickets or stadium sales, and the MLB has decreed that all franchises must meet their payroll obligations to players. The Wilpons have had cash flow problems for years, creating debts that would become toxic if this season were cut in half.
Based on projections made by The Post and multiple conversations with sources familiar with Wilpons finances, playing just 50 home games at CitiField this year would cost the Wilpons more than $ 150 million.
The Mets declined to comment on these figures.
A baseball insider told The Post that the average MLB franchise will be reduced by a third if the season is cut in half. For the Mets, it could reach 50%, with many now valuing the team at just over $ 1.5 billion.
For the J-Rod team, this could be the recipe for a deal.
Sources close to the couple make it clear that Rodriguez and Lopez, a former Yankee and Bronx native, respectively, see the true value of owning a New York team, even if it’s Queens.
“They see it as a chance to build a brand,” said source close to A-Rod, who reminded The Post that the former All-Star shortstop and third base player grew up as that fan of the Mets in Miami. “They want to turn the Mets into a powerhouse and CitiField into a concert hall that rivals Madison Square Garden. A summer MSG. ”
This vision sounds like music to the ears of long-suffering Mets fans, but any deal should be signed by MLB and the other owners.
“The league wants to see someone with liquidity,” said a source close to the league. “They want someone with a lot of money 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. “
Sources close to Cohen declined to comment on his current interest in the buyout of his childhood team, but sources close to the Wilpons made it clear that he was a latecomer.
“They would rather sell to someone for less money than sell to Steve Cohen,” said a Mets insider. “There is so much bad blood out there. “
– Additional reporting by Josh Kosman