Mets Owners Settle with Irving Picard

Hooray! It’s over! And the Mets won’t have to pay a billion dollars! Only $162M, or, about a million per game. Which means there’s a good chance the Wilpons can pull themselves out of their financial abyss and keep the Mets!

Here is the entire legal agreement, if you are interested.

Post your reaction in the comments …

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. JoeBourgeois March 19, 2012 at 11:03 am
    Banks who foreclosed on millions of ordinary Americans …. please, please …. do your thing. Please.
  2. Rob March 19, 2012 at 11:27 am
    So Joe…does this mean that the Mets go back to their spending ways? Or do we see more of the same over the next three years, since the Wilpons will have three years to pay back the Trustee. My own pessimistic view is that the Mets will trade Wright, trade Santana, save a ton of payroll and drive the Mets into a dark age for the next five years. But that’s because I’m in a dark place with this team. What do you think? Are they going to change their direction…start spending to make themselves slightly respectable? Or are they going to stay the course, keep their payroll unnaturally low and try to capitalize on draft picks over the next five years?

    I guess that I’m so depressed because they let Reyes go. I don’t think I can ever get over that…but maybe I don’t have to. If I don’t care about the team anymore, why does it even matter?

    Anyway, happy Monday. All the best.

    Rob (totally depressed, by the way).

    • Joe Janish March 19, 2012 at 10:44 pm
      Rob, I’m with you on: Reyes leaving; pessimism; depression.

      What they will do next is anyone’s guess. I honestly don’t know. I imagine this settlement makes things less bleak for the franchise but how much less, I’m not sure. They still have a mountain of debt. My only guess is that this year’s attendance will be something of an indicator of how the Wilpons will get themselves out of this hole — but, I could be wrong.

  3. Dan March 19, 2012 at 11:38 am
    It looks like they brought almost 4 years to come up with the cash, but if Selig is only around for 2 there may be hope. Looking forward to more economy moves to meet 2016 expenses.
  4. MikeT March 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm
    I think this is good news. We all would rather have different owners, but for those of you who want the team to get back to the spending ways of five years ago this would seem to be the quickest path. The team is cutting costs but inevitably will be back to a reasonable payroll to win ratio, which means that spending can begin again. And with better management the likelihood of bad contracts that end up throwing off that ratio again, and bring us back to where we started – again – will be reduced. I don’t believe the Wilpons have changed, but we are stuck with them, and at least now are forced to think about how they spend their money.
    • Joe March 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm
      Who wants this ownership to spend as they did a few years ago? They are the ultimate “management” that counts & they repeatedly showed an inability to do it the right way. But, we are stuck with them, so hope for the best.
    • Izzy March 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm
      disagree Mike and Dave S. These guys will never have the $$$$$ to spend like they used to. They lived off the ponzi scheme for decades. They bought the Mets with Madoff $$$$$$. The free dough ain’t coming anytime soon. The Wilpons will not be able to have the leeway to do whatever they please again. Loathing Mike. The guys are scum, the guys lucked into a gold mine and sucked it for all its worth. Wilpon made Mets and Met fans the laughingstock of all of baseball over and over again. Anyone who see good in this crap is in a state of mind I can’t imagine. And the next few years would be bad Dave if the Wilpons were forced out!!!!! Are you going to tell us the last few years were good????? On the positive side, I’ll happily stay away from city field and go see the Mets in DC Pittsburgh Baltimore etc where you get treated far better as a fan of the visitor than you do in city field as a Met fan. And you get far better seats much cheaper. So see Dave, I’ll thank Fred for that. I just hope my Beltran jersey lasts until Fred croaks and Jeff is kicked out of baseball by Buddy’s replacement.
      • DaveSchneck March 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm
        All fair points you make. I can’t defend this ownership, their prices, poor track record, and less-than-truthfulness with the fan base. Picard was the best bet for ownership change, but reality is his case just wasn’t strong enough to deliver a knockout. I don’t see a boycott removing them, so long as the team has any pulse at all. The losses of $70 mil are baloney, just accountant talk. Yes, they lose money, and have too much debt, but refinanciang along with the profits from SNY in this market should allow them to have a payroll $120 mil plus for an “average team”, more if/when they field a playoff caliber team. A decent GM (not Jeff W.) can compete with those resources. That is our only hope as Met fans; otherwise it’s time to change teams which I can’t do.
  5. Steven March 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm
    The Wilpons will own the team for a very long time and couldn’t care less if the fans who post on blogs want them to sell. Nor does ML baseball force an owner to sell for making decisions on how they spend their baseball money
  6. DaveSchneck March 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm
    Izzy is probably crestfallen with the agreement, given his unabided loathing of the current ownership. The though of Jeffy sticking around for many years to come does ruin my appetite, but I think it is good for the franchise overall. I just think the propect of Picard forcing out the ownership , while desireable, would be so ugly over the next few years, dragged out with appeals. Now, if Alderson and Co. can make the decisions and keep Jeffy limited to tee-shirt purchases and helicopter rides, this team can move in the right direction. What says Joe J.?
    • Joe Janish March 19, 2012 at 10:47 pm
      Sandy Alderson is a better figurehead than Omar Minaya. I’m not 100% convinced he can do a better job of building a winner in this day and age. Further, I don’t believe the Mets will ever find success as long as Jeff Wilpon is in charge of the team. His track record speaks for itself.
      • DaveSchneck March 20, 2012 at 9:09 am
        I am not as down on Sandy as you, and I think Omar was better than he gets credit for. I agree with you that Jeff is the biggest reason for pessimism, as they do have a track record of being a day late and a dollar short under him. Like it or not, with the Madoff settlement and $240 mil equity influx, this group will be a round a long long time. It scares me to think of Jeff in charge without the elders there any longer.
  7. Realist Mets Fan March 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm
    The future is entirely hopeless with the Wilpons in charge.
  8. Steve S. March 19, 2012 at 3:24 pm
    The Wilpons suck—We can all agree on that, I think—but my hope (and it’s only a hope) is that there will be more money available to be spent more wisely. Let’s see if they sign some quality “depth” now to boost the starting rotation and bench! Attendance will be going down—along with revenues—if they don’t…..
  9. Rob March 19, 2012 at 6:50 pm
    They won’t. i have faith in the Wilpons’ incompetence. They will continue to pocket any savings on the notion that it isn’t worth spending money if they can’t be competitive. So the question to ask will be: when do the Wilpons think that the Mets will be competitive. Will it be three years from now? Five years? Or will every year that goes by be greeted by a similar analysis: gee…we can’t compete this year, so let’s not spend the money.

    Anyway, now we can start guessing how many games the Mets will lose this year, how many months Collins will last (because you know that the NY media will be riding his butt for any negative results) and when will Wright and Santana be traded.

    I just hope Fred and Jeff are happy, because we’re all now suitably miserable.

  10. argonbunnies March 19, 2012 at 10:33 pm
    Well, this isn’t the worst thing that could have happened. The Wilpons could have been forced to pay $386mil and held onto the team anyway.

    Picard’s crazy $1 billion suit was probably the only thing that could have cost them the team.

    Today is definitely a sad day for all Madoff victims who aren’t billionaires.

    As for the Mets, I have no idea whether the current budget is what it is because the Wilpons were expecting to lose $386mil or not. If so, then this verdict is indeed cause for optimism. If not, then the verdict is mostly irrelevant. Does anyone know which?

    • Joe March 19, 2012 at 11:18 pm
      If they didn’t strip off some payroll last year, the team had a shot at mediocrity — easily could have been .500 or a bit above.

      The team had money for years now and the results at some point wasn’t a cause for optimism. So these guys having more money to spend doesn’t make me too optimistic. Me I rather them not spend money at the moment, have Bay and Santana leave and THEN spend money.

      The big deal this season was losing Reyes. Besides that, I don’t know what some more money would have did with these guys to promise much change especially with the wicked competition in the East. Reyes is a big deal obviously, but he’s gone now, so that ship has sailed. Not sure what to be optimistic about really.

      Oh, if they were concerned about paying 2x what they actually wind up having to pay, okay, but they still have to pay what amounts to more than the whole Mets payroll. And, they lost other money too, didn’t they? How much help is this really, big picture?

      • argonbunnies March 20, 2012 at 2:17 am
        Just because our last big payrolls didn’t make us a playoff team doesn’t mean that will persist. Some bad luck with injuries, some choking, and some stupid moves by Minaya sabotaged us last time. If those don’t recur, then a high payroll should give us good postseason odds, same as it does for every other team whose GM isn’t a moron (that is, a fan of Vernon Wells, Alfonso Soriano, or Ollie).
        • DaveSchneck March 20, 2012 at 9:05 am
          Good points. People tend to forget that the Mets were within one from the postseason in both 2007 and 2008. Each year, they failed due to lack of depth in pitching; in 07 it was starters, in ’08 it was a closer. Each time, as a big market team, they had the ability to obtain better solutions than they had, beasically just for money. Each time, despite the Wilpon’s claims to “have no budget”, they refused to spend the extra $3 million or so, and missed the window with that group. It wasn’t the manager or GMs fault, it goes straight to ownership. This is the biggest problem going forward.
        • mic March 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm
          In one case there was a rumored trade of Bobby P for Huston Street, then there was a rumored trade for Raul Ibanez.

          Irony (in hindsight) is that both holes were addressed after the season(s)…in case 1 they got Krod, in case 2; Jbay…

        • argonbunnies March 21, 2012 at 3:15 am
          Dave, that makes sense in retrospect, but I don’t recall it being an issue at the time. Do you remember looking at a single player who could help us late in ’07 or ’08 and saying, “The only obstacle is cash”? I sure don’t. Underwhelming options (Luis Ayala) and unreasonable prospect demands (Gomez, F-Mart when they still seemed like blue chippers) are what I remember.
        • Joe March 20, 2012 at 11:01 am
          Right. 2006. 2007. 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011.

          At some point, it doesn’t just seem “bad luck” or whatever. But, what other choice does a fan have but to be hopeful?

          Either way, I still wouldn’t want them to spend much money this year, since with Bay and Santana as drags and others not quite there yet, this would not likely be a good year for it.
          If more would be spent, it would likely be like those other years: enough to be credible, not enough to go to the next level.

  11. Izzy March 20, 2012 at 8:43 am
    For those needing a reminder of the Wilpon reign over the Mets.
  12. Gary April 2, 2012 at 12:23 pm
    My budget of my local bodega is bigger than that of the Mets. The Wilpons aim to keep it that way. They will continue to treat the Mets as if it were a AA affiliate. They are deaf to criticism, but they DO understand money, so BOYCOTT the Mets. Our only hope is to starve the Wilpons onto selling. You can come to Staten Island to watch minor leaguers; why kill yourself with $50 seats, $25 parking and overpriced food & beer, just to see minor leaguers and washed-up old timers?