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A new potential Mets investor emerges

Mar 9, 2011, 11:03 AM EDT

Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon

Unlike the Donald Trumps of the world, this seems plausible:

Paul Danforth, a former Mets executive who now holds a senior post at CAA Sports, the fast-growing sports division of the Creative Artists Agency of Hollywood, is a lead investor in a group seeking to buy a share of the Mets, according to a person who was briefed on the group’s interest.

He’s affiliated with his father-in-law who happens to be a retired investment banker.  The Times reports that at least three other groups have applied to Major League Baseball to see the Mets’ financial statements. All of them are some fun mix of investment banking types, Wall Street types or entrepreneurs.

Danforth may be more serious than others. He worked for the Mets for 13 years in sales and his father-in-law has banking relationships with the Wilpons going back a decade or more.  If the Wilpons are going to get someone to buy a minority share and nothing more, it may be more likely to be a friend. At the same time, if they do find it necessary to bake in some sort of option to take over into a minority sale, it may likewise be preferable for them to do so with a friend.

  1. yankeesfanlen - Mar 9, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    After all, the Wilpon’s friend Bernie did so much for them.

  2. BC - Mar 9, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    If you say things often enough, maybe you can will them to reality.

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 9, 2011 at 11:31 AM

      It worked for Cliff Lee.

      • BC - Mar 9, 2011 at 12:00 PM

        Hey, I said that first, if you recall.

  3. Jeremiah Graves - Mar 9, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    I want to see Mark Zuckerberg buy the team.

    That is all.

  4. Utley's Hair - Mar 9, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    I hear former Mutt Lenny Dykstra is available….

  5. sdelmonte - Mar 9, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    I seem to recall some other team being bought by a former agent. Anyone remember who that was, and how it’s worked out?

    • BC - Mar 9, 2011 at 11:59 AM

      I think it was Jeff Moorad becoming principal owner in San Diego. Hey, it worked out OK last year.

  6. ltzep75 - Mar 9, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Well, this article is clearly credible as it is published by the Times and not that muckracking commie rag the NY Post…

    • uyf1950 - Mar 9, 2011 at 2:33 PM

      No skeletons in the NY Times closet. Does Jason Blair ring a bell or the NY Times coverage of the Duke Lacrosse team a couple of years back. The NY Times had them tried, convicted and sentenced in their paper. Only to find out that all the charges were a fabrication and the DA later disbarred. Yea, no skeletons in the NY Times closet. As they say “All The News That’s Fit To Print” and some that isn’t.

      • ltzep75 - Mar 9, 2011 at 2:36 PM

        apparently my sarcasm and attempt to bait chrisny3 both failed. pity.

      • cur68 - Mar 9, 2011 at 3:30 PM

        I think you succeeded; I bet one of those thumbs down was from him. I, however, gave you a thumbs up for your insightful, thoughtful and totally accurate remarks.

  7. chrisny3 - Mar 9, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    It’s been widely reported that there are 12-14 investor groups or individuals whose names have been submitted to MLB for the chance to bid on a minority share of the Mets. What I can’t understand is how the NYT’s can’t find a single qualified serious bidder to buy their minority share of the Red Sox after almost two years of trying. Seriously, maybe they just picked the wrong firm to help them find qualified bidders and they need to look into Allen & Co.

    Craig, since you’ve been all over the Bonds story, I’m surprised you haven’t posted the information here about testimony being allowed that will cover an increase in his hat and shoe size while he was taking PEDs. Or at least I didn’t see such a post. It’s one more nail in his coffin. It was reported in multiple places yesterday.

    • paperlions - Mar 9, 2011 at 3:39 PM

      I would guess that they can’t sell their minority share in the Sox because no one is interested in buying a minority share that the KNOW will always only be a minority share. In contrast, in a situation where there may very soon be an opportunity to convert a minority interest into controlling interest, there very well could be a line around the block.

      • chrisny3 - Mar 9, 2011 at 4:16 PM

        That might only hold true if in fact there is the option offering at least the absolute right to simply match any offer should the Wilpons and Katz decide to sell in the future. Even then, any opportunity to buy a controlling interest may never ever come if the Wilpons decide never to sell. So the chance to be the controlling owner of the Mets would remain iffy at best. In which case, I still don’t understand why there is so little interest in the Red Sox in comparison, especially if it’s true that the Mets’ assets are so distressed vs. the Red Sox assets. There’s something else going on here.

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