April 21 (UPI) -- Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez have increased their interest in buying the New York Mets, retaining a bank to raise money for a possible bid for a share of the Major League Baseball franchise.
Sources told Variety and the New York Post that Rodriguez and Lopez hired JPMorgan Chase to raise capital for the bid. The move came a month after Rodriguez said on The Tonight Show that he "would certainly look" at the opportunity to buy the franchise. A source told the Post in February that Rodriguez was "kicking the tires."
The Wilpon family, who owns the team, said it still plans to sell the Mets after a previous deal with billionaire Steve Cohen fell through in February. The team is valued at about $2.6 billion.
The Wilpons assumed control of the Mets when they bought Nelson Doubleday for $135 million in 2002. Sources told Variety that Lopez and Rodriguez are working with JPMorgan Chase managing director Eric Menell, the bank's co-head of North American media investment banking, to raise capital for their potential bid.
The Mets have hired Allen & Company's Steve Greenberg to oversee the sale of the team.
Rodriguez made more than $400 million in salary during his decorated MLB tenure. Lopez earned an estimated $43 million in 2019, according to Forbes.
If Rodriguez were able to secure a share of the team, he would join former teammate Derek Jeter among MLB ownership groups that include former players. Jeter was part of a group that purchased the Miami Marlins for $1.2 billion in 2017.
Rodriguez was a Mets fan when he was a child. Lopez was born in New York.