If anyone thought selling the New York Mets soap opera couldn't get any crazier after the Steve Cohen debacle, then A-Rod levels were wrong.
According to several sources, the newest name that emerges as a potential applicant for the purchase of the Mets is none other than Alex Rodriguez. Baseball and Wall Street insiders told The Post that the controversial former Yankees superstar was "kicking the tires" to take part in an upcoming auction for the team. This happened after Cohen, the billionaire hedge fund manager, refrained from a $ 2.6 billion deal for 80 percent of the team last week when he learned that the Wilpon family had been in the first five years of his ownership would not give up control.
While sources told The Post that Cohen hasn't yet given up his chances of buying the Mets, rumors of A-Rod's interest have intensified.
"He is a businessman and a baseball man based in New York," said an ally of A-Rod. "Why shouldn't he look at this?"
A-Rod, a self-described childhood Mets fan who adored Keith Hernandez in his youth, flirted with the signing of the team as a free agent in 2000. This dream was fueled by the disinterest of the then Mets GM Steve Phillips, A- Fulfilling Rod's contract realizes and creates what Phillips is known as the "24 plus one roster". A-Rod eventually signed an unprecedented 10-year contract with the Texas Rangers for $ 252 million. After the 2003 season, it was sold to the Yankees.
Sources warn that an offer from A-Rod Mets would go a long way and would require the formation of an owner group of even richer investors, much like the deal his former teammate and enemy Derek Jeter had made to A-Rod's hometown team Miami to buy Marlins. In 2017, Jeter, along with 15 other investors, invested $ 25 million in a $ 1.2 billion deal that made him the controlling partner and CEO of the organization.
"[Rodriguez] really loves the Mets, ”said a source familiar with A-Rod. "He and J. Lo talked about buying a team since Jeter got the Marlins."
Another source warned that large owner groups are not the preferred type of buyer for MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and his owners these days, but that the idea of bringing A-Rod and Jeter into the same department as owners might be too irresistible if the money is right for the Wilpons. It is believed that the Mets will alert potential buyers in an auction sale in the coming days of their claims, which are expected to be around $ 3 billion without the team's toxic five-year transfer window or the team's SNY cable TV station.
Although Jeter paid almost three times that, this $ 3 billion figure isn't necessarily a deal breaker for A-Rod's reported Mets dream, especially with his fiancee mentioned above. A-Rod's net worth is believed to be near $ 350 million, and J.Lo's is believed to be closer to $ 400 million. Together, the two could lay a strong foundation for a group offer.
Another signal that A-Rod might think in this direction is its recent social schedule. The shortstop third-baseman-turned-mogul has been investing in real estate since 2003 and has been a full-time financial player since retiring from the diamond in 2016. His A-Rod Corp has invested in numerous real estate businesses and technology startups. Just last month, he invested an undisclosed sum in AB InBev, the Budweiser parent company, to become chairman of the Presidente beer brand made in the Dominican Republic.
Rodriguez has recently made the rounds at high-profile investment conferences hosted by Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan. Both events were full of super rich potential partners for a Mets offer.
But while some sources are optimistic about A-Rod's future as king of the queens, others throw cold water at the rumors and point to the person they still see as future owners of the Amazins.
"No chance A-Rod can do this, especially if Steve Cohen is still out there and playing security on this," said a banker familiar with Cohen and the deal. “This auction will not come close to $ 3 billion, and it will be lucky to get over $ 2 billion. Steve knows that, he's talking to people, waiting for the Wilpons to come back and beg for $ 2.6 billion and don't have a five-year window. "
Cohen declined to comment on the idea that he was still actively monitoring the situation, but a source close to the $ 13 billion financier made it clear that he would not be involved in the Mets auction and "Refuses to be used as a stalking horse" the process.
Neither Rodriguez nor his representative Ron Berkowitz could be reached for comment.