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Martin Luther King III

mets

So, Who’s (Maybe) Thinking About Buying a Piece of the Mets?

It's been just three days since Fred Wilpon announced that the Mets would look into selling a piece of the franchise — in the range of 20 to 25 percent, he said — but the first batch of potential "strategic partners," to use Wilpon's term, has already stepped forward.

One group, first reported by the Post over the weekend, includes Martin Luther King III, former Met Ed Kranepool, the son of former Met Donn Clendenon, and TV executive Larry Meli, among others. And today, King released a statement acknowledging his interest but also calling the public release of details about a potential acquisition "premature." But, according to Meli, King will meet this week with both Fred and Jeff Wilpon. Meli, by the way, also told the Post that his group is interested in buying at least 50 percent of the club, though Wilpon has said he's not looking to sell that much. Said Meli: "I think in order for it to make sense it would have to be at least a 50-50 arrangement."

Another prospective buyer, meanwhile, is a local one: Queens-born Mike Repole, the multi-millionaire co-founder of Glaçeau Vitaminwater (and onetime recruiter of Billy Donovan), has reached out to representatives of the Wilpons expressing his interest. Repole's a bona fide Mets fan, too. Sample quote: "I bleed blue and orange." And another: "I hate the Yankees."

Martin Silver, the owner of the George Vodka brand, has also said he's "trying to get negotiations started." But cross one name off the list of potential buyers: Mikhail Prokhorov, through his publicist, says he's not interested.

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Photo: Juan Mabromata/Getty Images