“Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” but a Major League Baseball franchise sure does. And when it comes to owning one of them, in particular the New York Mets, Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez want people to know “I’m Real” when it comes to bidding.
Rodriguez, who has expressed interest in team ownership for years and was reportedly approached to buy the Miami Marlins a few years back (but turned them down), has been in the mix with the Mets for a while now. In April, it was reported that ARod and wife Jennifer Lopez were raising capital in an attempt to buy the Mets. That effort apparently fell short when Rodriguez couldn’t find investors willing to let him be the managing partner despite not having the highest percentage of ownership.
But he was not deterred, even chiming in with a very owner-friendly response to the ongoing battle between owners and players to get the MLB season back on track, albeit with a deal that severely undercut the players’ negotiating potential and set up lots of potential pitfalls down the road. A deal that baseball player ARod would have never agreed to (In fact, Scott Boras, who was ARod’s agent when he signed both of his massive player contracts, objected sharply to the deal).
But the point remained that ARod and Lopez still wanted to keep the door open to own an MLB franchise and it appears that door is in fact potentially open.
Thornton McEnery and the NY Post reported Friday that the power couple “are now working closely with very senior bankers at JPMorgan Chase on a new bid to buy the Mets after their initial approach failed to come together earlier this month.”
One of the big changes that make a deal potentially more fruitful is the recent inclusion of SNY, the TV home of the Mets, in the package. The first time around, current ownership balked at including SNY in the deal as the network remains the most lucrative aspect of Mets-related revenue. However, as the pandemic drags on and the Wilpons continue to hemorrhage money, it sounds as though they might finally be ready to let it all go, or at least a significant chunk of it (much to the delight of many Mets fans).
Another key aspect that could make this deal turn out in ARod and JLo’s favor is that Long Island pharmaceutical billionaire Wayne Rothbaum, who was originally a partner in the offer with the duo, is no longer involved.
As far as who is going to help bankroll this current offer, the Post is reporting that the couple is working very closely with JPMorgan Chase to identify opportunities and uber-wealthy investors who might want to be involved but also don’t mind the idea of Rodgriguez being the face of ownership. The Post also noted that one set of investors they reach out to were New England Patriots’ owners Bob and Jonathan Kraft, who apparently aren’t too keen on the idea of owning a baseball franchise but were interested in ARod and JLo’s plans for the Mets as well as Citi Field, which they see as a larger entertainment venue beyond just baseball games.
We’ll wait and see what comes of this new offer if it eventually does happen. But if it does, it probably goes without saying that ARod’s days working as an analyst for Fox and ESPN would likely be over.