Billionaire trader bets on Dodgers, joins race to buy the team

Stanley Alvarez (West Covina, CA) waves a Dodgers flag.
Stanley Alvarez (West Covina, CA) waves a Dodgers flag.
Corey Bridwell/KPCC

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An East Coast billionaire investor has announced his intention to bid for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Wednesday's L.A. Times reports that Major League Baseball could consider hedge fund executive Steven Cohen as a potential buyer.

Following current owner Frank McCourt's announcement last month that he plans to sell the Dodgers, Cohen’s apparently stepped up to the plate with more than just money to offer.

Seems the wealthy investment exec’s playing the bidding field the way he plays the market - by putting strength in numbers. In this case, it’s more about allies instead of money.

The 55 year-old owner of a Connecticut-based investment firm has reportedly lined up a prestigious architecture company to propose Dodger stadium renovations. He’s apparently been talking with heavy hitters like influential sports agent Arn Tellem and former league deputy commissioner Steve Greenberg, and he’s gained support from a couple of fellow art collectors who happen to be billionaire Angelenos.

Cohen has, for the most part, avoided the press. Vanity Fair magazine special correspondent Bryan Burrough says he was able to snag a rare interview with Cohen last year. Burrough shared his thoughts in a video on Vanity Fair’s website.

“I suppose of all the new things that he discusses in the article the one that’s gong to achieve perhaps the widest notice is his suggestion that he’s ready to walk away from active trading, which is a little bit like saying God’s ready to walk away from earth," said Burrough. "I mean Steve Cohen is a legend on Wall Street.”

Could Cohen - estimated to be worth over $8 billion - become a legend at Elysian Park? That depends on the league - and on whether it’s willing to give Cohen a chance after Wall Street scandals dogged him.

The league has agreed to approve up to 10 bidders. Others include former NBA star Magic Johnson and former Dodgers owner Peter O’ Malley. Major League Baseball will accept initial bids for the Dodgers another couple of weeks.