The last two hurdles in Steve Cohen’s bid to become the next New York Mets owner are in the past. Steve Cohen was officially approved to become the next owner of The Mets. Baseball’s owners voted Cohen in with the necessary 75% on Friday afternoon. Shortly following that news, the NYC mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he has “no objections” to the sale, and it can officially proceed to close. As a result, the Mets sale was allowed to move, and Cohen will be in power after the sale closes.
Cohen’s Longtime Pursuit Finally Realized
It is undoubtedly an exciting day not only for Mets fans but for the game of baseball. Cohen will be a bright light for the city of New York, as Mets fans will soon have a team they can be proud to represent. The Mets have always been in the Yankees’ shadow, but Cohen plans to change that. The sale will officially close in the coming days, right before the start of free agency.
The hedge fund billionaire Cohen began his pursuit of the club in December 2019. Ten months later, he has acquired the team he has so desperately wanted. It’s been a long and rollercoaster-type process, but it is officially and finally over. Steve Cohen officially purchased the Mets in mid-September. The team and Cohen then went through a smooth process, formally signing the paperwork to transfer ownership to Cohen. A month and a half later, he has the green light from fellow owners and will control the club. He now replaces the Wilpons, who had been majority owners of the club since 2003. The sale will close in the coming days, and The Wilpon family’s era will officially be over.
Cohen’s Statement Following Approval of Sale
New Mets owner Steve Cohen stated on Friday following his approval from MLB owners and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“I am humbled that MLB’s owners have approved me to be the next owner of The New York Mets. Owning a team is a great privilege and an awesome responsibility. I would like to thank the owners and Commissioner Manfred and his team for welcoming me to Major League Baseball.”
Major League Baseball also issued a statement thanking the Wilpons for their time as Mets owners and wishing the best for incoming owner Steve Cohen. In the statement, the critical component was the expectation that the sale will be complete shortly. Cohen continued to say that he’s excited to get to work quickly and have the deal finalized by Sunday night.
“My family and I are lifelong Mets fans, so we’re really excited about this. With free agency starting Sunday night, we will be working towards a quick close.”
Mets To Be Big Players in Free Agent Market
The Mets will seemingly be players for many of baseball’s top free agents, a stark contrast to the Wilpons. The Wilpon’s lack of breaking the bank resulted from the family’s significant losses in the Bernie Madoff scandal. The Mets began bargain hunting more often than not, leading to lower payrolls and less success. While many believed there was a great future for The Mets after making the World Series in 2015, no such success has transpired. The Mets made the Wild Card game the following year, followed by four straight seasons of no playoffs. Three of those four years, The Mets finished with an under .500 record.
Wilpons Era of Dysfunction Finally Over
Under the Wilpons tenure, The Mets compiled a 1458-1516 record with zero championships, one pennant, two division titles, and three playoff appearances. The team fell short of the playoffs more often than not. In several of those years, The Mets underperformed expectations and had a couple of excruciating collapses. The team was unable to create any sustained success under the Wilpons. Dysfunction, disappointments, toxic culture, wacky injuries, etc. have all been the main component throughout the Wilpons’ tenure. Mets fans are ecstatic that these days are about to be over. Their departure is something Mets fans have been waiting for for a long, long time. And their wishes have finally been granted.
For this reason, Mets fans are eternally grateful for the next chapter in Mets franchise history. There are incredibly high hopes for the future, one that does not include the Wilpon era’s failures and dysfunction. Cohen is now by far the wealthiest owner in baseball, followed by Ted Lerner (Nationals), Charles Johnson (Giants), and Marian Illitch (Tigers). Having the richest owner in baseball does not always translate to success, as we have seen. However, after years in which the penny-pinching Mets refused to go above and beyond to compete, it’s a refreshing feel if you’re a Mets fan. Although we haven’t heard directly from Cohen, there are rumors of his plans to take the franchise to the next level.
Cohen to Bring Great Change to Analytics, Front Office
He plans to invest heavily in analytics, similar to his firm Point72, to become the “East Coast Dodgers,” so to speak. Cohen will not spend just to spend as every one of his moves will be calculated and well-thought-out. Proof of that is his intention to name former Mets GM Sandy Alderson, the next Team President. The goal is to ease the fact that Cohen would come in and overpay players, a well-known fear among individual swaths of owners. They felt that Cohen might come in and blow up salaries right before the next CBA. However, those fears have fizzled out, and the owners are on board with Cohen.
In addition to analytics, Cohen plans on heavily investing in international scouting. International scouting is something that the Mets have not involved themselves in under the Wilpons. Cohen and The Mets will likely be significant players for the future top international players. The Mets will look to build on the success they’ve had with international players and take it to the next level.
Cohen to Invest in Employee and Community Spending
Additionally, Cohen is going to come in with a heavy heart. There were no fans during the 2020 season, and many teams are currently hurting with all the lost revenue in ticket sales, merchandise, concessions, and parking. As a result, seasonal workers at the ballparks across the country were unable to work. Cohen stated that all Mets employees would receive pre-pandemic salaries as of November 1st, reversing the 5-30% salary cut implemented in March. The value of this commitment is over $7 million and is a massive success for all Mets employees hurt by the pandemic.
He has also made a $2.5 million commitment to provide seasonal employees $500 per month from November 1st until Opening Day. These are both great moves to help those who have been struggling financially due to the pandemic. In addition to Mets employees, Cohen has pledged to donate $17.5 million to working NYC businesses crushed financially by the pandemic. Lastly, They will dramatically increase The Mets foundation’s efforts to help underprivileged communities surrounding Citi Field.
Cohen to Heavily Invest in Club, While Others Cut Costs
Cohen is also going to be able to pour money into The Mets while other teams are visibly cutting costs. Teams across the board are cutting front office personnel, including long-term scouts and up-in-coming baseball people. The losses that all teams have had to deal with is significant and will drag into 2021.
These collosol losses are, of course, due to the uncertainty of the pandemic and the unlikeliness of having capacity crowds until a vaccine arrives. Subsequently, this will have a considerable impact on how their teams will operate. Whether it be cutting costs in the front office or on the field, the pandemic’s effects will be drastic. On the other hand, The Mets, fueled by a new owner who is filthy rich, will take advantage of the situation. Steve Cohen will come in and pour money into the franchise right off the bat because he knows it will pay off in the long-run.
He has privately said that he expects The Mets will lose around $400 million in his first two years. However, no need to worry as Cohen is willing to do whatever it takes to build a winning team, which is something we couldn’t say about the Wilpons. In short order, The Mets are looking to be one of the best-run organizations in all of baseball.
Mets Fans, Rejoice
This transfer of power is monumental for Mets fans and all of baseball. The Mets will likely go from being one of the league’s jokes to the cream of the crop. Change is finally coming for Mets fans, who are finally free of the Wilpons dysfunctions and failures. Cohen has big dreams to turn his long-term passion into long-term success for his favorite team. Buckle up, Mets fans; your time is here! Get ready to enjoy the ride that Steve Cohen and co. are leading. The future is bright for the team in Queens. A new era in NY baseball, one where both the Mets and Yankees are competing for NY supremacy, is about to get underway.