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.
Good baseball decisions include what to do with the funds you have. If you had unlimited funds (or comparably so), some moves are worth it, even if it means overpaying. Other moves aren’t really that smart but the team can do it. Sometimes, moves are influenced by the funds available, including funds not there because of mismanagement of funds.
But, yes, it’s about money. It usually is — you make the decisions w/i your means. This is what Sandy Alderson is doing. Some will continue to berate him, however, like he owns the team, and is holding back HIS money. And, is upset he isn’t totally honest about what is going on, as if anyone actually does that.
These people will pretend to be all cynical but deep down they seem to be naive souls whose feelings are hurt.
Also, skip over my repeated comments about “mismanagement” etc. and believe I’m just a kiss ass.
Just be pissed off. It’s a free country.
Please make the Wilpons sell…..
Dear Mark Cuban,
Please buy us………
“The implications of the team’s latest outside financing are not easy to forecast. But two people with knowledge of the team’s finances said that if a full lineup of minority stake investors was not in place by next spring, and cash not in hand, Wilpon and Katz might have to confront the prospect of selling the team entirely.”
The more empty seats, the lower the revenues and the less chance of sufficient minority investors to save the Wilpons from selling the team. Keep hope alive!
But yes, you make an outstanding point. Investors generally don’t put their money into something that looks shaky. I’m keepin’ the faith!
Heck, even when the Knicks were godawful yet drawing fans, they were spending money.
As an addendum to your point, the Mets don’t necessarily have to spend like the Yankees to show that they’re trying. But they can’t go the complete opposite way, either.
And, getting a closer for two years 12M, a reliever for 3.5M, a “middling” reliever that has enough cred to be seen as a good pick-up, not just having a fire sale to get rid of every useful part they have etc. shows they are not. Small market teams don’t have a Santana out and getting paid 20M or whatever it is. They don’t get to overspend 17M for a Bay.
But, they didn’t re-sign Reyes. So, you know.
Key paragraph from that being
” Doubleday contends that the appraisal by Starkey, who is under contract to Major League Baseball and has done work for the Minnesota Twins and the Milwaukee Brewers, deflated the Mets’ value with faulty methodology. He has indicated to others that Starkey’s independence was suspect because of his ties to Commissioner Bud Selig, the former owner of the Brewers. It was Selig who recommended Starkey for the job.”
friends? Or is selig doing damage control until the Madooff/Wilpon ownership issue is resolved?