NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29: Fred Wilpon, president of the Mets, far right, listens while Sandy Alderson answers questions during a press conference introducing Alderson as the general manager for the New York Mets on October 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Wilpon sat with Alderson's family, along with Saul Katz, CEO of the Mets and Jeff Wilpon, chief operating officer of the Mets. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Fred Wilpon
Fortunately for the club, Mets owners think they have at least a dozen names of "legitimate" candidates interested in buying part of the team, the New York Post reports.
Contenders include groups headed by David Heller, co-head of Goldman Sachs' securities, Steve Starker, co-founder of the global-trading firm BTIG, Ken Dichter, co-founder of Marquis Jet, and Anthony Scaramucci, general manager of asset manager SkyBridge Capital, according to the Post.
"The Mets are desperately seeking a buyer for a minority interest in the team -- possibly up to 49 percent -- to raise much-needed cash," the paper reports. "Team owners, including majority owner Fred Wilpon and his brother-in-law Saul Katz, are reeling from costs, and potential costs, stemming from investments they had in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme."
Another name to keep an eye on: Stuart Sternberg, majority owner of the Tampa Bay Rays. He is a Brooklyn native and a Mets season-ticket holder.
While he said that he has no interest in buying the team right now, the Post reported that if the Wilpon family was forced to sell a majority stake, Sternberg could be interested and is a "logical choice to buy the team given his strong existing ties to both baseball and Wall Street."
News of the list of prospective candidates comes a day after the Post published a story that Major League Baseball and the Mets were "exerting strong pressure" on JP Morgan to loan the club more money.
"They [JPMorgan] believe the Mets still have the capacity to borrow," a source told the Post. Another source countered, "Are you kidding me?" when told about the loan. "You don't lend into a distressed situation," that source said. With the Mets losing roughly $50 million a year, the source added, "This is a very risky loan."