(Reuters) - Billionaire hedge-fund manager Steven Cohen is bidding for a minority stake in the New York Mets baseball team as it tries to raise about $200 million to cover losses and pay down debt, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.

Other bidders for the franchise include a team led by Steve Starker, co-founder of Wall Street trading firm BTIG LLC, and another team led by Goldman Sachs executive David Heller and Marc Spilker, president of private-equity fund Apollo Global Management LLC, the Journal said.

Cohen's private equity hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors LP and the New York Mets were not available for comment, outside of regular U.S. business hours.

Current owners of the baseball franchise, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, and their associates are being sued for more than $1 billion by the court-appointed trustee recovering assets for victims of disgraced U.S. financier Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

(Reporting by Rachel Chitra; Editing by David Cowell)