Today, the 29 other owners of Major League Baseball franchises voted and they approved Steve Cohen as the new owner of the New York Mets. The process, which had numerous starts and stops, will be completed once the city of New York, via Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, allows the lease of Citi Field to transfer to Cohen. That approval is expected later today.
The deal, which is for 95% of team ownership—with now-former majority owners the Wilpons retaining a 5% stake—is worth a reported $2.475 billion.
Cohen cleared the first major hurdle on October 20 after being approved by MLB’s ownership committee. The sole dissenting vote within the committee was White Sox owner While Jerry Reinsdorf was vocal about his opposition to Cohen, the new owner still secured the 23 votes he needed to be approved, and so he is now the sole power player behind the Mets.
Cohen has already announced his intentions to hire former Mets general manager Sandy Alderson as team president, and so it should not be very long before Cohen and Alderson will begin to announce their plans for 2021 and beyond. Among the the first decisions to be made will be the fate of general manager Brodie Van Wagenen and manager Luis Rojas.
The Wilpons, along with brother-in-law Saul Katz, have been in control of the Mets since 2002, after co-owning the team with Nelson Doubleday since 1986. The team under the Wilpons had been beset by financial insecurity and woeful mismanagement, especially since the revelation of their involvement in one of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi schemes in 2008.
Cohen is not without controversy himself, having been fined $1.8 billion for insider trading in 2013. While there is no real way to tell what sort of an owner Cohen will be, Mets fans should breathe a sigh of relief that, if nothing else, they are finally free of the Wilpons’ meddling and incompetence. Regardless of what Cohen does tomorrow, today is a good day.