Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez’s campaign to buy the New York Mets has reportedly taken them to Foxborough.
The power couple flew into Massachusetts for a meeting with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his son Jonathan to discuss a partnership on stadium operations should their bid to buy the Mets succeed, according to the New York Post’s Thornton McEnery.
Rodriguez, Lopez and the Krafts were reportedly joined by executives from JPMorgan that have been involved with the couple’s Mets bid.
While Kraft reportedly has no interest in joining Rodriguez and Lopez’s Mets bid, he apparently advised them on what they could to to monetize the area around Citi Field. Turning the Willets Point area around the ballpark into the kind of complex that is becoming increasingly common in MLB is reportedly a major part of the couple’s plan.
From the Post:
Per insiders, the visit lasted five hours, during which the Krafts showed J-Rod around both Gillette Stadium and their adjoining entertainment, retail and hospitality complex, Patriot Place. The tour was meant to show the potential new Mets owners what can be done with a stadium and the undeveloped land around it.
Mets bidding features billionaire, athletes
Rodriguez and Lopez are one of multiple bidders vying for the Mets, the most prominent of which is minority owner and hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen. The couple’s group reportedly includes an eclectic mix of athletes including Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher and former NFL running back DeMarco Murray.
Cohen seems to be the current leader with a bid of $2 billion for the team according to the Post, well below the $2.6 billion he had previously offered to the Wilpons before the deal fell apart. That’s still ahead of the $1.7 billion that Rodriguez and Lopez have reportedly put together.
However, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon would reportedly prefer to sell the team to the couple’s group if their bid is close to the top when the auction is over, so it could just be a matter of getting close enough.
Even with the bidding still in the early phase, Rodriguez — who won’t be working Mets games as an ESPN analyst — is already beginning to act like an owner.
A-Rod: MLB players should accept salary cap
Heading into what figures to be a turbulent season for MLB, Rodriguez took the opportunity to publicly advise the league’s players to accept a salary cap for the purpose of helping the league out.
From the Associated Press:
Preparing for the start of his third season as an analyst on ESPN’s Sunday night telecasts, Rodriguez said baseball players’ leverage had changed since they fought off the owners’ salary-cap proposal with a 7 1/2-month strike in 1994-95. He said the rise of the NFL and NBA had changed the equation along with digital media, and said the players’ association should work collaboratively with MLB to raise the sport’s market share.
“The only way it’s going to happen is if they get to the table and say the No. 1 goal, let’s get from $10 to $15 billion and then we’ll split the economics evenly,” he said Thursday during a conference call. “But that’s the type of conversation instead of fighting and fighting against each other because there’s too much competition out there right now.”
It’s worth remembering that Rodriguez made more than $450 million in his career, currently the highest career earnings in MLB history per Spotrac. That was mostly thanks to market-shattering deals with the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees that would have likely been impossible under a salary cap system.
The MLBPA has long rejected the idea of the salary cap system used by the other major American sports leagues, and the topic figures to come up again in the upcoming 2022 collective bargaining agreement negotiations. The union likely won’t be counting Rodriguez as an advisor.
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