Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez are angling to join the movement among celebs to own a sports franchise -- like Magic, Jay-Z and Derek Jeter -- but insiders tell us it's strictly a business decision ... and we're told A-Rod has a vision for the New York Mets that will handsomely line his and his fiancee's pockets.
Sources familiar with the deal tell us ... A-Rod's weakness is also his strength -- he knows he doesn't have a background in business so he's going to leave the business part of running the team to people who know better than him. He's more of a "people manager" -- meaning his strength is inspiring players, but he's leaving the business part to people who know better than him.
We're also told A-Rod and J Lo are putting up a relatively small percentage of the cash necessary to make a deal. We're told they're looking for big investors who might put up somewhere between $25 million and $50 mil. At which point they could get financing from a bank for the balance.
As it was put to us ... the Mets have been "so mismanaged" that there is nothing but upside if he can right the organization. The danger -- we're told A-Rod has an interest in working with the players. The conventional wisdom ... Hall of Fame-level players typically screw up when they try to mess with the roster.
Our sources say it all comes down to money. There are reports the Mets are worth around $2.4 billion, but some of the financial people we've spoken with say that's way too high, and the team is worth more in the $1.5 billion range. Hedge fund manager Steve Cohen was previously in negotiations to buy the Mets in a deal valued at $2.6 billion, but that fell apart in February. Lots of people felt the offer was way over market.
As for A-Rod and J Lo, they've reportedly retained JPMorgan Chase to raise capital.
The man in charge of finding the money is JPMorgan Chase managing director Eric Menell, according to Variety.
Menell runs the company's North American media investment banking.