There have also been reports that the Mets current ownership would like to sell a minority share of the team to raise funds, and some have mentioned Sternberg's name in that discussion. Which led me to ask, is that even legal? Can an owner of one team buy a portion of another team?
A review of the Major League Constitution yielded no answers, so I turned to the Major League Rules. There I found two rules that cover such a dual-ownership situation, Rules 20(a) and 50(c). Here are those sections of the two rules, with the relevant portions in italics:
Rule 20 - CONFLICTING INTERESTSSo it appears that it would be legal for Sternberg to buy a portion of the Mets because of the phrases "in its League" and "of the same League." Since the Rays are in the American League and the Mets in the National League, there would be no violation of the Major League Rules.
(a) OWNERSHIP AND FINANCIAL INTERESTS. No Club, or owner, stockholder, officer, director or employee (including manager or player) of a Club, shall, directly or indirectly, own stock or any other proprietary interest or have any financial interest in any other Club in its League, provided, however, that any owner or stockholder of a Major League Club (who is not also an officer, director or employee of a Club) whose interest does not exceed 5% of such Club and whose interest does not constitute a control interest (as defined in Article V, Section 2(b)(2) of the Major League Constitution) may own a non-control interest not exceeding 5% of any other Club or Clubs in its League, unless the Commissioner determines that such ownership would not be in the best interests of Baseball.
Rule 50 - ENFORCEMENT OF MAJOR LEAGUE RULES
(c) CONTINUITY OF ASSIGNMENTS, AGREEMENTS AND TRANSACTIONS. All assignments whether optional or otherwise of players' contracts and all agreements and/or other transactions involving players' contracts mentioned in or provided for by the Major League Constitution and the Major League Rules shall be given, and shall have the same force and effect for all and every purpose, notwithstanding the stock ownership or control either directly or indirectly by any one Club or by a stockholder or stockholders of any one Club in/or of one or more other Clubs.
Provided further that in no event shall ownership and/or control directly or indirectly be permitted by one Club or by a stockholder or the stockholders of one Club in another Club of the same League.
Don't take this as my opinion of whether Sternberg has any interest in becoming an owner of the Mets, either in a majority or minority role. I obviously have no idea. Read Cork's article for the reasons it might or might not make sense. But in reading the speculation I wondered if it was even a possibility, and thought you might too, so I just wanted to share what I found. Personally I hope he stays right where he is, in charge of the Tampa Bay Rays.