December 1, 2023

Investor Talked to Mets but Buys Part of Yankees

By the time negotiations with Einhorn fell apart this month, however, the Mets could not turn back to Bartoszek. Besides feeling that the Mets’ owners had manipulated him to apply more leverage against Einhorn, Bartoszek had found a better deal. He would instead invest with the Yankees.

Last Friday, Bartoszek emerged as the newest limited partner with the Yankees, buying a share of the team from another limited partner.

Bartoszek and the Yankees would not say how much his share represents, but he becomes one of about 30 partners with the team, including members of the Steinbrenner family, with Hal Steinbrenner acting as the team’s managing general partner.

My conversations with the Mets was a very interesting and positive experience, and I was able to parlay that into this great opportunity,” Bartoszek said. “I’m privileged now to be a part of this incredible group of owners.”

Negotiations between the Yankees and Bartoszek, who is from Pelham, N.Y., began in June and were completed Friday. Bartoszek was at Yankee Stadium on Monday afternoon to watch Mariano Rivera break the career saves record in the Yankees’ 6-4 victory over Minnesota.

“It was done within 90 days of the initial contact,” Bartoszek said. “It was the most straightforward negotiation I’ve ever been a part of.”

Bartoszek, 46, made his fortune trading oil for Glencore International before he retired from the company and became a consultant. He once described himself as a passionate Mets fan who stayed up late to watch Lee Mazzilli hit a home run in the 1979 All-Star Game, but he said he always admired the Yankees, too.

In January, the Mets’ owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, announced that they were seeking new investors to help stabilize the team from the financial distress caused by a $1 billion lawsuit filed against them by the trustee representing the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

Shortly after the announcement, Wilpon and Katz engaged Bartoszek, among others, in serious negotiations. A former second baseman on the United States Merchant Marine Academy’s varsity team, Bartoszek passed the initial stages of the vetting process and was one of only a few potential investors to spend a day at Citi Field with Jeff Wilpon, the chief operating officer, going over team operations.

In May, the Mets chose Einhorn, and Bartoszek was told that he was the runner-up. Then, when negotiations between the Mets and Einhorn stalled in July, Bartoszek was invited to resume his negotiations. Word of those talks with Bartoszek leaked out, and the next day the Mets announced that they had resumed exclusive negotiations with Einhorn.

But on Sept. 1, the Mets announced that they had ended their negotiations with Einhorn and were no longer looking for one big minority investor. They are now looking to recruit a collection of smaller investors, similar to what the Yankees have. But they will no longer be talking to Bartoszek.

“I still love the Mets,” Bartoszek said. “And I always liked the Yankees, too. My dad was a Yankee fan, and I was never the type of Mets fan who hated the Yankees. Now I like them even more.”

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