Wilpons insistence on keeping SNY could stall any potential Mets sale



The Wilpons are still interested in selling the money-losing Mets, but they are still not interested in selling money-making SNY, their regional sports network, sources tell The Post.

“I don’t think that will change,” a source close to the auction said.

Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez’s master plan in buying the money-losing team includes acquiring the profitable SNY, which broadcasts Mets games, sources said. Part of the reason is the Mets on their own are losing perhaps as much as $90 million in a normal season, sources familiar with their finances said.

The Wilpon family controls 65 percent of SNY, which results in approximately a $90 million annual dividend offsetting the team loss, the sources said.

“Selling this team, in this environment, without SNY, does not seem even remotely possible,” a source familiar with the sale said. “Only Steve Cohen was going to go for that, and he was going to do it for twice what anyone will pay now.”

Indeed, Cohen’s infamous $2.6 billion offer that fell apart in early February after 11th-hour negotiations with the Wilpons turned toxic, did not include SNY. Multiple people close to Cohen told The Post he is not planning a new bid at this time and that any reports to the contrary are false.

Multiple sources confirmed to The Post that the Wilpons have called in all the capital commitments from their minority owners in recent weeks to cover losses.

That decision, insiders say, did not sit well with minority owners, especially in the wake of the Cohen deal falling apart. Cohen himself is one of those minority owners.

J-Rod’s reported money man in the deal is New York biotech investor Wayne Rothbaum, who cuts a rather low profile for a billionaire.

Rothbaum, 52, is the CEO of Quogue Capital, a Long Island-based family office that invests primarily in life sciences companies. In 2016 Rothbaum sold a majority interest in Acerta Pharma to industry titan AstraZeneca for $4 billion, of which he could have received roughly $1.4 billion.

Rothbaum appears to split his time between a luxury co-op on Central Park West, a home in Quogue and one in Palm Beach, Fla. His Florida ties were almost cemented in 2017 when he attempted to buy the Miami Marlins as part of a group that included former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

With Rothbaum on board, a baseball source said, J-Rod’s potential bid is real.

Rothbaum has the funds to buy the team, a source familiar with Rothbaum said, adding that the power couple’s alliance with the investor might come with one big wrinkle: Rothbaum likely wants to run the team.

“Rothbaum won’t be junior to A-Rod,” the source familiar with Rothbaum said.

MLB likely would need to see Rothbaum as the control person, and not A-Rod. It is not clear if A-Rod would accept a lesser role.

Meanwhile, SNY has approximately 10 years remaining on its contract to broadcast Mets games for a well-below-market rights fee, so that SNY dividend is locked in for some time, a source with knowledge of the contract said.

“It creates pure profit for the family for 10 years,” the source said.

Especially considering that the family fortune comes from real estate, where values are falling, one can see why the Wilpons would be very reluctant to let SNY go, the source said.

Meanwhile, MLB is allowing teams to borrow more money due to the cancellation of games, beyond current league limits, giving the Wilpon family a possible lifeline if needed, sources said.

The Mets and MLB declined comment.

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