The days of Fred and Jeff Wilpon as the majority owners of the New York Mets look to be numbered.
Sterling Partners — which is headed by the current Mets’ owners — released a statement on Wednesday afternoon revealing that they are in negotiations with the franchise’s minority owner, Steve Cohen, to increase his investment in the club.
According to Bloomberg, Cohen could purchase up to 80-percent of the organization, which would value the team at $2.6 billion.
That same report states that Fred Wilpon is “making the move as part of estate and philanthropic planning.”
“As part of the agreement, Fred Wilpon will remain in the role of the Control Person and CEO for five years and Jeff Wilpon will remain in his role as Chief Operating Officer for the 5 year period as well,” the statement from Sterling read.
That suggests the Wilpons could be out by as soon as 2025.
Cohen, 63, is a hedge fund manager who founded Point72 Asset Management and is currently valued at $9.2 billion. He bought a four-percent stake in the Mets in 2012 and grew up a fan of the team in Great Neck.
The very next year, he pled guilty to insider trading and agreed to pay $1.8 billion in fines.
The Wilpon family and Sterling Equities have been the majority owner of the Mets since 2002 but have yet to deliver the franchise its first World Series title since 1986.
Their rule has been headlined by an inability to spend big money on top players over the years, which is fallout from their loss of millions due to their involvement in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme in 2008.
A new owner could bring about a change in philosophy for the Mets, who have been run like a small-market team despite playing in the largest sports market in the world. They were also valued by Forbes earlier this year as the sixth-most expensive MLB franchise.
Big-time money could result in big-time players and New York’s National League team finally meeting high expectations placed on them by a starving fan base.