New York Mets fans are still reeling from the disintegration of the deal that would have sold the team to billionaire hedge fun manager Steve Cohen, but now there’s a new rumor to contend with. Mets fans, you may want to sit down.
According to the New York Post, Alex Rodriguez has emerged as one of the parties interested in buying the Mets.
No, this isn’t a different Alex Rodriguez. It’s the Alex Rodriguez we all know: the former Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees slugger who left the game in disgrace following a PED scandal and has rehabilitated his image since retirement to become a MLB analyst on TV. Multiple baseball and Wall Street “insiders” told the Post that Rodriguez is “kicking the tires” on getting involved in the upcoming auction for the team.
The thought of Rodriguez buying the Mets is at once too good to be true and also the worst idea anyone’s ever had. Despite his rehabilitation as baseball’s polo shirt-wearing good time uncle, he’s still a massively polarizing figure and hasn’t exactly shaken his previous reputation with Mets fans.
Could he actually do it, though? Could A-Rod really buy the Mets?
He could, but he couldn’t do it alone. Like Derek Jeter before him, Rodriguez doesn’t have enough money to buy a team outright. The Mets are projected to get between $2 billion and $3 billion at auction, and Rodriguez has a net worth of $350 million, and while that’s more than Jeter’s current net worth of $220 million, he’d need to do what Jeter did when he bought the Miami Marlins and gather a group of rich people to help foot the bill.
The Post suggested that Rodriguez’s fiancée, actor and musician Jennifer Lopez, would go into ownership with him, bringing her own net worth of nearly $400 million. That would help, but they would still need more. Which could be why Rodriguez has recently been seen “making the rounds at high-profile investment conferences hosted by Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan,” laying the old A-Rod charm on some ultra-wealthy potential partners.
There are some high hurdles to jump, but it’s possible. Rodriguez may even be driven to do this by his personal history. No, not his never ending competition with Derek Jeter — though imagining A-Rod one-upping Jeter by being both well-liked and a team owner is hilarious — but his childhood fandom. Rodriguez grew up a Mets fan and loved Keith Hernandez, who remains involved with the team as one of its TV broadcasters.
It feels unlikely that something this crazy might happen, that Alex Rodriguez could own the Mets. But in a world in which the Wilpons are finally agreeing to sell the team they’ve embarrassingly run for nearly 20 years, anything could happen.
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