The Real Reason Mets Never Made Offer to Jose Reyes
Yesterday The New York Times reported that Bank of America recently loaned the Mets $40M:
The team described the arrangement as a bridge loan, meant to aid the team as it tries to raise money through the sale of minority stakes in the club.
Clearly, Mets ownership continues to suffer serious financial problems, which explains why they didn’t ever make an official offer to Jose Reyes. Of course, you are free to keep telling yourself that Sandy Alderson passed on the star shortstop because it wouldn’t have been a good baseball decision. Whatever floats your boat — but the bottom line is, this Flushing franchise is going down the toilet.
Mets ownership still has faith that they will be able to sell about 20 $10M shares of the team to people who don’t want any decision-making power and aren’t looking to make any money from their investment; in short, the Wilpons and Saul Katz are confident they’ll find people able and willing to throw away ten million dollars for the express purpose of occasionally rubbing elbows with the dwindling number of Major League Baseball stars left on the Mets’ roster. They may be right. However, not one investor has yet been announced, despite assurances from ownership that all 20 shares would be sold by the end of the year.
This recent $40M loan is on top of MLB’s secret $25M loan handed out around this time last year. Additionally, the team lost about $70M in 2011, thanks primarily to declining ticket sales. So, the first $65M collected in anticipated shares will go toward paying off those two loans specifically — though, I think there are other loans hanging over their heads as well (can anyone confirm?). Additionally, there is the Bernie Madoff / Irving Picard suit looming, which many believe will require somewhere in the neighborhood of $200M to settle; we won’t even go into the associated attorney fees.
Maybe it’s time to call back David Einhorn?
By the way, I find it interesting that no bank was willing to extend a loan prior to the 2011 season, and somehow, some way, Bank of America stepped forward to give them $40M after the team lost another $70M. Is it a mere coincidence that Bank of America is a proud sponsor of MLB? Hmm …
Funny that Bud Selig forced the McCourts to sell the Dodgers, even though Frank McCourt — on his own — was able to negotiate a loan from FOX to keep the team solvent, yet Selig is clearly pulling all favors and doing everything possible to help the Wilpons retain ownership of the Mets. At what point does Selig put his treasured friendship with Fred Wilpon aside and do what’s best for the New York fans? Or, has he already taken control of the organization — via last year’s appointment of Sandy Alderson as GM — and going through with a master plan to show the world that small-market tactics can result in success in the biggest market, thereby organically driving down player salaries?
Oh, forget that silly conspiracy theory that just leaked out from my over-active fingers tapping irresponsibly on the keys … focus instead on the chronic debt of the Mets, and how it’s going to affect the team in 2012 and beyond.