Employees of the New York Mets are getting their full salaries back.
Jeff Wilpon, the team’s chief operating officer, told employees of the move yesterday, according to the people, who were granted anonymity because the matter is private. The team is currently controlled by the Katz and Wilpon families.
Ending the salary cuts required the approval of Cohen, who signed off on the measure, a source said. Cohen’s purchase of the team still requires approval from 23 of 30 MLB owners for the deal to be completed.
The Mets and a spokesman for Cohen declined to comment.
The Mets on June 1 instituted pay cuts of 5-30%, with higher-paid employees taking a bigger hit. The salary cuts affected full-time employees. It isn’t known if the salary boost is retroactive.
MLB teams played an abbreviated 60-game season without fans because of the pandemic, costing clubs tens of millions in revenue from things like tickets, parking and concessions.
Cohen, who already holds an 8% stake in the team he grew up rooting for, about two weeks ago reached agreement on the terms to buy the team. If approved, Cohen will hold a 95% stake in the team with the current owners keeping 5%.
While financial terms of the proposed sale haven’t been disclosed, two people with knowledge of the agreement have said it values the team at about $2.42 billion, which would be the most ever paid for an MLB team.
Cohen has a net worth of about $10 billion, according to Bloomberg. His ability to finance the purchase with partners made him the favorite during an auction that included Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris and former big-league star Alex Rodriguez as bidders.
Even before the pandemic, the Mets were losing at least $50 million annually. That number might mushroom to more than $200 million this season.
The Mets didn’t qualify for the playoffs after finishing tied for last in the National League East.
(This story has been updated with details of Steve Cohen’s approval of the pay reinstatement.)