For two months, many Mets fans have looked forward to seeing their beloved team under new ownership. On Thursday, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said the potential sale of the team to Steve Cohen, a billionaire hedge fund manager, seemed all but dead.
“My belief is there’s not going to be a transaction,” Manfred said to reporters at an owners meeting in Orlando, Fla., though he held out hope that the deal could be resurrected. “My soothsaying isn’t great. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Cohen had been negotiating with the Wilpon family, which controls the Mets, since the middle of last year. The Mets and Cohen announced in December they were negotiating a deal in which Cohen would become the team’s majority owner. The deal included an unusual provision that allowed Fred Wilpon, the managing owner of the Mets, and his son Jeff, the team’s chief operating officer, to remain in their roles for five years after the completion of the sale.
It was that provision which largely resulted in the talks falling apart, according to four people who were familiar with the discussions and who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not…