Manfred: Mets sale appears unlikely to happen

February 6th, 2020

NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday that he believes the Mets’ sale from the Wilpon family to Steve Cohen will not take place -- at least not in its current form.

Speaking at the MLB Owners Meetings in Orlando, Manfred acknowledged reports that the deal has fallen apart.

“I think there are kind of two things that are out there,” Manfred said. “The first is that there is not going to be a transaction. My belief is that’s accurate. The second is, exactly what happened with respect to the transaction, I can tell you, and it’s based on conversations with the buyer and the seller on an ongoing basis, the assertion that the transaction fell apart because of something that the Wilpons did is completely and utterly unfair.

“All I can tell you is right now, my belief is there is not going to be a transaction. My soothsaying isn’t great. I don’t know what’s going to happen. As of right now, it’s my belief that that transaction’s not going forward.”

Sterling Equities, the parent company that owns the Mets, entered exclusive negotiations late last year to sell a majority stake of the team to Cohen Private Ventures. Publicly released terms of the deal included a five-year transition period, during which Fred and Jeff Wilpon would still run day-to-day team operations. 

Earlier this week, the Mets declined comment in a statement, saying “the parties are subject to confidentiality obligations, including a mutual non-disclosure agreement.”