Cohen completes $2.4 billion purchase of Mets

Steve Cohen on Friday officially closed the deal to become the owner of the New York Mets.

“This is a significant milestone in the history of this storied franchise. I want to thank everybody who helped make this happen,” Cohen said in a statement. “The 2021 season is right around the corner and we’ve got a lot of work to do, so I’m excited to get started. Let’s go Mets!”

The 64-year-old billionaire hedge fund manager’s purchase of 95 percent of the team was approved last week by Major League Baseball owners.

Mets’ sale sets new $ record

The $2.4 billion deal is the highest price tag ever paid for a North American sports team. Forbes estimated a net worth of $14 billion for Cohen, who becomes baseball’s wealthiest owner.

Mets, Citi Field, empty
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Changes began happening almost immediately in the front office.

On Friday afternoon, the Mets announced the departures of executive vice president and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, special assistant to the general manager Omar Minaya, assistant general managers Allard Baird and Adam Guttridge, and executive director of player development Jared Banner.

Van Wagenen, a former agent, had been the GM since October 2018. Minaya has served in various capacities over three different stints with the Mets dating back to the mid-1990s.

“I want to thank Brodie, Allard, Adam and Jared for their contributions over the last two years,” said Mets president Sandy Alderson in a news release. “I especially want to thank Omar for his long and distinguished service to the Mets in many important capacities.”

New leadership team in the works

Alderson said he has begun the process of building a new leadership group.

Luis Rojas
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Cohen, who initially bought a minority stake in the Mets in 2012, reached an agreement to purchase the team on Sept. 14.

Cohen is CEO and president of Point72 Asset Management.

The Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz families, who previously owned the Mets, now possess a 5-percent share of the team.

The club, which made its debut in 1962, has won two World Series titles (1969, 1986) and lost three other times. It has not reached the playoffs since 2016, delivering just one winning season in the last four years.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)