It seems that it’s Steve Cohen, not the Wilpons who’s to blame for his bid to buy the New York Mets falling through.
Josh Kosman and Thornton McEnery of the New York Post has a new report out on what caused Steve Cohen‘s deal to buy the New York Mets to fall through. Prior to this report, the prevailing thought was that Jeff Wilpon caused the deal to fall through with exorbitant demands.
As it turns out, that was not the case. Cohen signed a non-binding agreement to buy the team in December which included the previously reported five-year transition period.
The new reporting is that Cohen didn’t understand that MLB teams had only one control person. He believed that being the majority owner would allow him to have a say in how his money was spent. That’s not how MLB rules work.
Each team has just one control person who is expected to make any and all baseball decisions. Once Cohen learned of this, he attempted to change the terms of the deal. He didn’t want the Wilpons spending his money without his approval.
McEnery reports that Cohen proposed a new deal that would have given him increased power during the transition period. Not only did the Wilpons reject that proposal, they asked Cohen to give Jeff Wilpon annual raises during the five-year transition.
Cohen balked and walked away from the deal, thus breaking his legally-binding agreement. Turns out MLB and SNY’s Andy Martino were right. It wasn’t the Wilpons who were at fault.
Obviously, it’s absurd that the Wilpons wanted Cohen to allow them to spend his money for five years without his say. However, that’s technically what Cohen agreed to, even if he did it unknowingly.
After working in bad faith with the Wilpons, it’s now expected that Cohen will never be allowed to own an MLB team. Even if he does manage to buy a team, it’s not likely that he would be approved by the owners.
Meanwhile, the Wilpons, who still plan to sell the Mets, are on the hunt for a new buyer. It’s unclear if they’ll continue to pursue control beyond the 2020 season in any sale of the team.