Perhaps the Mets have seen their savoir pass them up yet again.
The baseball franchise, which for the better part of the last decade has been mired in misery and frustration, appears to no longer be the target of hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen, who was reportedly previously in talks to buy the team.
Cohen's $2.6 billion bid for the team is on "life support" according to the New York Post, who says that multiple sources are confirming Cohen is ending negotiations on a potential purchase of 80% of the franchise. Sources say Cohen is upset about the Wilpon family changing terms of their deal in the late stages of negotiating.
“The parties are subject to confidentiality obligations, including a mutual non-disclosure agreement, and therefore cannot comment,” the Mets said on Tuesday.
Cohen has kept quiet about the situation so far, as well.
Prior to this week, the deal had looked as though it was progressing well. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred had said in December that he was satisfied with how talks were going, despite the sale being structured in what is being called a "unique" fashion.
The terms of the sale would leave Fred Wilpon as control person and CEO for five years, while Team COO Jeff Wilpon would also stay in his role for 5 years. After that period, both were expected to be removed from daily operations. The deal also didn't include ownership of the Mets' regional sports network, SNY.
The Wilpons apparently made a late stage push to keep control of the franchise beyond the 5 year window and there was also reportedly disagreement about the long-term status of SNY.
Cohen, meanwhile, had already seemed content about moving to the life of a baseball owner.
“If the deal goes through I expect that my roles at Point72 will not change. Period," he wrote to his investors in December, easing their mind of potential implications of a deal consummating. Cohen also reportedly had plans for an opening day gala where he would be announced as owner.
If Cohen's deal falls through, it would mark the second time in less than 10 years that the Wilpons failed to sell a large stake to a local billionaire. In 2011, a deal with hedge fund manager David Einhorn also fell through after he accused the Wilpons of "bad faith" in the final stages of their deal.