Mets fans and supporters – and even New York residents who are not interested in baseball – have been used to seeing team agreements that looked like things were going to change significantly at the last minute for years.
A certain amount of publicity was in the news when news came out on Tuesday night that a deal to sell the team to Steve Cohen, a billionaire hedge fund owner, was about to collapse.
Cohen, who already has a small stake in the team, negotiated with the Wilpon family that controls the Mets to acquire 80 percent of the team in a deal that valued the franchise at around $ 2.5 billion would.
According to three people who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly, the deal was nearing a conclusion when it hit a hook. The dispute centered around the Wilpon family's desire to retain control of the team after the majority stake was handed over, and the schedule for the payments that Cohen said two people would make.
In December when the Mets announced it The sale was negotiated, they said Cohen had agreed to allow Fred Wilpon, the managing partner, and his son, Jeff, the team's chief operating officer, to keep their titles for the next five years, at least as expected Cohen was that the roles would be mostly ceremonial.
Despite the recent shortage, people warned that the deal could still go ahead. Although the dispute is very real, both sides could also compete against each other to put pressure on a final deal,
When asked if the deal was in trouble, the Mets issued a statement citing "a non-disclosure agreement" and declined to comment.
Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for Cohen, also declined to comment.
Cohen, the owner of Point72 Asset Management, has been a minority owner of the Mets since 2012 and controls 8 percent of the team.
Mets fans mostly responded positively to the news that the team could be sold. They have complained for years that the team is playing in the country's largest market and still working with a payroll that is more suited to a medium-sized franchise. There was field succession among the Wilpons. Above all, the team won the World Series in 1986 when the family owned a minority stake and later reached two more. But in the 33 seasons in which the family had a 50 percent stake (they became controlling owners in 2002), the Mets only played the playoffs six times.
And while there have been successes in the field among Wilpons – especially winning the World Series in 1986, when the family owned 50 percent and achieved two more – the Mets have only played seven times in the past 34 games played seasons.
During this time, the Wilpons have built a reputation for calling for short-term changes in negotiations with their own partners, local government officials, and even players who wanted to win them over to the franchise. Just when a deal seems to be closed and it's time to shake hands, the Wilpons reach for something more.
It is a common tactic in real estate development in which Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, his brother-in-law, made their fortunes together.
In 2002, in the last few weeks before the Wilpon family took full control of the team from their original partner Nelson Doubleday, there was a lawsuit in which both sides accused the other of being bad faith and seemingly set conditions to change .
In 2011, the Wilpons announced the upcoming sale of a significant portion of the team to David Einhorn, a billionaire hedge fund manager like Cohen traced four months later. The Wilpons instead decided to sell smaller shares in the team, of which Cohen bought one.
Einhorn later said that the Wilpons had negotiated maliciously. "I have received a new round of comments on our final agreement," he said. "I was very surprised to see that many of the terms of the deal that have been in effect since May have been changed."
The Mets contested Einhorn's claims, saying the deal failed because it expected to be approved by Major League Baseball as the team's future control owner – a guarantee that the Wilpons would insist that M.L.B. to be banned.
An agreement with officials in New York to build a minor league baseball stadium on Coney Island in the early 2000s almost collapsed as the Mets attempted to change the way visitor numbers were counted.
The Mets are also known to make short-term demands when negotiating with players.
A trade for Milwaukee Brewers outfielder, Carlos Gomez, was killed in 2015 after Mets Gomez's medical exam classified it as a hip problem risk, an allegation denied by Brewers and Gomez’s agent. A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel The Mets were reported to have withdrawn from business after the Brewers objected to their trading partner's desire for more money.
Jae Weong Seo, who played for the Mets in the early 2000s, had to accept a reduced contract after the team announced that its medical staff had discovered test irregularities.
According to some a dozen people directly related to the Mets and Wilpon family, the deal with Cohen came at the request of some family members who were concerned about the direction of the franchise company, which is promoting hundreds of millions of dollar debt if it should be primarily controlled by Jeff Wilpon as soon as his father and uncle step aside.
The Mets have experienced some turmoil since the sales negotiations were first announced. The team broke up with coach Carlos Beltran last month, less than three months after hiring, because M.L.B's devastating report of the Astros theft scandal identified Beltran as one of the players who cheated.
A first hint of a rift between the Wilpons and Cohen surfaced a few days later when the team announced that Luis Rojas would be hired as manager. Brodie Van Wagenen, General Manager of Mets, said Cohen was not consulted on the election.
Now that Pitcher and Catcher are preparing to show up for spring training at the Mets complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida on Monday, it is unclear whether Cohen will ever have a say in the team.
Kate Kelly contributed to the reporting.