Slow down, A-Rod, Mike Francesa says the New York Mets could still be Steve Cohen’s team to buy. Last week Cohen’s deal to purchase the Mets was deemed dead, but Francesa believes the billionaire remains interested.
“The name you will hear emerge again is Steve Cohen,” Francesa said on his WFAN show Friday evening.
“There is a lot of buzz that he is readying a conventional offer that would have him buy the entire team,” he added.
Just last week, Cohen walked away from a $2.6 billion deal after learning the Wilpon family would not give up control of the team during his first five years of ownership. According to Francesa, if the Wilpons are serious about selling the team, they have to give up the unique demand and be willing to hand the Mets over to whoever buys the team.
“If they will back off that, and I believe they will, then I think he is a guy you could easily see doing an about face,” Francesa said about Cohen. “He owns 8% of the team, he clearly has the money to buy the team, he has the interest in buying the team. If they can iron out whatever their difficulties were and make it more pleasant negotiations, then I think he is till the favorite in the clubhouse to be the buyer of the team.”
Francesa also noted that despite reports, he doesn’t believe Cohen would have trouble being approved by Major League Baseball as an owner. New ownership needs to be approved by at least 75% of the other MLB team owners for a deal to go through.
“I don’t think he would be ruled out for any reason,” Francesa said. “I don’t believe the reports and there were a couple of them that baseball didn’t want him as an owner. If they didn’t want him as an owner, he would never have been the candidate he was before it fell apart.”
As for A-Rod’s potential to own the team he grew up rooting for, Francesa doesn’t see it happening.
“There is a much greater chance that Steve Cohen will be the buyer of the Mets than any group with Alex Rodriguez will be the buyer of the Mets, I think the odds on that are very very slim,” he said.
Francesa did add that he also doesn’t think Major League Baseball would decline A-Rod the opportunity to own a team because of his connection with steroids. After being suspended by the league in 2014 for using performance enhancing drugs, A-Rod has done a great job rehabbing his image as he continues to be one of the game's most recognizable faces in retirement.