I guess if you’re in he hedge fund business you’re going to have a lot of friends who are hedge fund managers. That seems to be the case with the Mets’ owners anyway, as it is being reported in the New York Times that hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen — you always get a middle initial when you’re rich — may very well be the favored bidder for a minority share in the Mets. As the Times reports, Cohen was approached by the Wilpon/Katz ownership group last year but declined. People who know Cohen tell the Times that they are surprised that Cohen would want to take a minority stake in the Mets, but Cohen himself isn’t talking.
Other potential investors are also named, at least one of whom we’ve heard of before: Anthony Scaramucci, another hedge fund guy, and James McCann, the founder of 1-800-Flowers.com, who met with Fred Wilpon down at Mets spring training.
The timeline for the Mets to pick an investor is unclear.
Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that the Mets have discussed a trade involving starter Matt Harvey with at least two teams. Apparently, the Mets were even willing to move Harvey for a reliever.
The Mets tendered Harvey a contract on December 1. He’s entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility and will likely see a slight bump from last season’s salary of $5.125 million. As a result, there was some thought going into late November that the Mets would non-tender Harvey.
Harvey, 28, made 18 starts and one relief appearance last year and had horrendous results. He put up a 6.70 ERA with a 67/47 K/BB ratio in 92 2/3 innings. Between his performance, his impending free agency, and his injury history, the Mets aren’t likely to get much back in return for Harvey. Even expecting a reliever in return may be too lofty.
Along with bullpen help, the Mets also need help at second base, first base, and the outfield. They don’t have many resources with which to address those needs. Ackert described the Mets’ resources as “a very limited stash of prospects” and “limited payroll space.”