Should Mets Extend Wright, Dickey?

We had fun yesterday dipping our toe in the water of the most important pond of the Mets’ offseason: whether the Mets should extend R.A. Dickey and David Wright. Today, let’s explore the situation in further depth.

The reasons for extending Dickey and Wright are obvious. First, they are the two most marketable Mets, and ownership is still struggling financially. Attendance dropped again in 2012 — to its lowest point since 2003. If Wright and/or Dickey are not around, the only face average Mets fans (“average” meaning the hundreds of thousands of people who generally do NOT read Mets blogs) will recognize is Johan Santana — and we don’t know for sure how often he’ll be around in 2013. Second, without Dickey and Wright, the Mets have very little chance at 2013 won-loss record that is similar to, or better than, the 74-88 season accomplished in 2012. Imagine the 2012 season without either one of those men; my guess is that 100 losses would not be out of the question. Of course, if either or both of those players are traded this offseason, it would stand to reason that the Mets would receive players in return who could improve the club; however, my guess is that those players would be younger and unlikely to make a Dickey- or Wright-like impact until a few years down the road.

As Dan B. said in the comments section:

Signing Wright and Dickey is not a baseball decision, it is a revenue decision. I don’t think they could afford another major drop in attendance while negotiating with the banks. But they also can’t afford to sign other players who would raise attendance. None of their decisions seem to be about long term benefit of the team or their business. It is all short term survival.

I have to agree with Dan — if the Mets do extend their top two stars, it’s more in the name of short-term survival than long-term success.

Don’t get me wrong, I love watching R.A. Dickey and David Wright play baseball. But the Mets will struggle mightily to finish higher than fourth place in 2013, with them or without them. If everything breaks perfectly for the Mets, Dickey and Wright have seasons like they did in 2012, and the Phillies and Marlins both continue to recede, the Mets MIGHT finish third. Looking at the teams in the Central and West, I don’t believe two Wild Cards will come out of the NL East. Unless the Mets acquire several near-MLB-ready talent, and/or at least three of their minor league prospects become stars, we’re looking at a similar outlook in 2014. Maybe in 2015, with a little (lot of?) luck, the Mets will have enough pieces to contend, at which point Dickey will be 40 and Wright, 33. Does it make sense to keep the stars around until their performance is below their salary level, and hope that every one of the prospects pan out? Or is it a better plan to trade the most valuable assets — at a time when their value may never be higher — in return for several youngsters who can accelerate the rebuilding project?

Again, I thoroughly enjoy seeing Dickey and Wright play baseball, so I would not be happy to see them leave. But, when Sandy Alderson came on board, he said he’d be making “unpopular moves” — moves like trading Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez when the Mets were on the fringe of the Wild Card race, and letting Jose Reyes walk away. Those decisions were financially motivated, but they also established that the Mets were in a rebuilding mode — regardless of whether or not they are willing to admit it publicly. Continuing in that rebuild, the next logical step is to jettison Dickey, Wright, and anyone else with a modicum of value to the external world, in return for as many young prospects as can be acquired.

Interestingly, extending both Dickey and Wright on manageable contracts (read: hometown discounts) may be the Mets’ best move toward moving those players for a bag of prospects. Right now, the Mets would be dealing the two stars as one-year rentals, and as such, the return package(s) would be appropriately limited. However, if a team knows they have control of Dickey for two or three more years (or Wright for 4-5) — and at a bargain rate — that team likely would be more willing to part with top prospects.

I wouldn’t expect the Mets to extend the two within the next two weeks, and then trade them before spring training. More likely, both are extended, everyone smiles at the press conference, season tickets are sold, and the players are dealt next July at the deadline. At least, that’s the way Billy Beane would play it.

In truth, I don’t believe that’s the way Sandy will play it. My feeling is that Dan’s comment above is spot-on: due to short-term financial / business circumstances, the Mets can’t afford not to extend Dickey and Wright and keep them around. It’s an interesting turn of events, don’t you think? From 2004-2009, the Mets’ plan was short-term, with the end goal of a championship. Now, the Mets still have a short-term plan, but the end goal is merely to ensure enough ticket sales to keep the lights on. Oh, sure, the PR slant is that there is a long-term plan in place, and many Mets fans are eating it up as they watch below-replacement-level, but homegrown favorites such as Josh Thole, Lucas Duda, and Collin McHugh grace their big-screen TVs.

Maybe there’s a way to extend Dickey and Wright, keep them, stay within the $90M – $100M budget, and develop a winning team within the next three years. If so, it will be interesting to watch, and likely, worthy of documenting in both book and Hollywood movie forms.

What’s your thought? Can the Mets extend R.A. Dickey and David Wright, keep them over the long-term, and build a postseason-bound club within the next few years? Or must the Mets trade their few tradeable assets now to accelerate the rebuilding plan? Post your thoughts 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. Reese October 9, 2012 at 1:25 pm
    With $50 million coming off the books next year, it’s entirely fiscally possible that they can do just that — build around these pieces with the hope that a few already-present pieces like Davis, Harvey, Niese and Wheeler continue to progress. However, you still have glaring needs in all three outfield positions and at catcher as well as facing another rebuild of the bullpen. Consequently, they may need the short term loans against SNY in order to acquire more Tim Byrdaks and Jon Rauchs in the near term. The other option would be to move somewhat attractive pieces like Murphy and Parnell to address needs in other areas, but is Valdespin ready to handle 2B on a full time basis? Moving out Parnell means your bullpen consists of ailing Francisco, Edgin, ailing Carson and not a whole lot else. Duda could go but then you most definitely need 3 outfielders.

    I keep getting bashed for it, but the smarter move would be to trade away one or both of these two star players to fill in the multitude of gaps on the team. They proved they can lose with them. They can surely lose without them. 2013 is toast already. In 2014 Flores should be able to take over at 3B, Wheeler should be established as a starter, roles should be defined for Mejia and Familia, and you will have that Bay/Santana money to spend, too. Trading away Dickey and/or Wright gives some financial flexibility immediately and would return 2 or more starting players for each of them.

  2. jerseymet October 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm
    Hometown discount or trade bait.
  3. JoeBourgeois October 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm
    But the other factor besides Bay and Santana coming off the books next year is the WIlpons kicking the can down the road by trying to move debt from the team to SNY.

    So that $50 million that Reese mentions may never actually get to player payroll at all.

  4. Dan B October 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm
    I don’t have a problem with Wright and Dickey being trading as the beginning of a new era of rebuilding. But they have to trade away a lot more then those two. Trade away anyone — Davis, Duda, Neese, Tejada, and Mr. Met if it brings in young, quality talent. I would even trade Harvey it brought in two Double A versions of Harvey. But the Wilpons don’t have the money to survive two years of 100+ losses (at a minimum) it would take to really rebuild. Or they could keep Wright and Dickey and all of those players and add higher priced talent to fill in the gaps and raise their budget back to the $150 million range. But I don’t think they have the money to do that, either. But I think no matter where on the fence you stand, everyone hates the idea of signing those two and then just rearranging the furniture because that is a guarenteed continuation of 2012.
    Personally, I would go the $150 million route. I know the Mets made mistakes in the past, but that doesn’t mean they have to repeat them. After Santana and Bay are gone, that would give the Mets close to $100 million to rebuild with. Using the MoneyBall theory of going against the grain, I think it is the best route. Most of the big budget teams are moving away from spending. Yankees want to cut payroll to $185 million. Red Sox stated they are shying away from free agents. Dodgers have already spent most of their money. The competition for higher priced players is the lowest it has been in ages. And higher priced players not only win games, they also put fans in the seats. But, woe is us, it doesn’t matter because the Wilpons don’t have the money or the guts to do anything.
  5. Andy October 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm
    Joe, do you have a take on the possibility that the Mets may go with a riskier but higher-upside strategy of focusing on little-known IFAs and Japan League postings in an effort to rebuild more quickly but on the cheap? I think it’s what I would try if I were them . . .
    • Joe Janish October 10, 2012 at 9:03 am
      That would have been a really good idea last year, when there were several MLB-ready international free agents available, and the new CBA had yet to be in force. Imagine if the Mets had taken a gamble on Yoenis Cespedes, Yu Darvish, or Wei-Yin Chen?

      I don’t know how many MLB-ready bargains are available from overseas this offseason; usually, by now, we would be hearing at least a little buzz about some stud from the Far East or Cuba. More significantly, thanks to the new rules set forth by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, a MLB club is limited to spending $3.2M in total for all of their international free-agent signings. So if, say, the Mets convince a MLB-ready player to leave Japan for a $2M bonus, the Mets have only $1.2M left for ALL of the rest of their international signings — including teenage players from Caribbean destined for the low minors.

      I could be wrong, but I would think that the Mets would be better served over the long haul by spending money on younger, unproven teenagers who potentially have more upside.

      • Andy October 10, 2012 at 11:08 am
        Wow I had no idea about the $3.2 million cap. You’re right that really does change the strategy.
  6. Joe October 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm
    The only sensible thing on the trade front with these two guys is to get a hometown discount and then trade them so the other team(s) will have two good players at a discount rate. Talk about a “business decision.” That is sensible if you want to trade them.

    This blog’s favorite villain Sandy Alderson was cited as saying the buyouts for cash sinks Bay and Santana will go on the ’13 accounts. So, figure ’14 will be the first year where there is a realistic shot of something of the WC race with key finale parts in place variety to occur.

    I think Wright very well will be there. Baseball is a business, so if it’s a “business decision,” fine, but I think management wants a face to the team and Wright provides it. A NY team particularly needs such a face (see Jeter) and Wright will provide it while being young enough to have stuff left when the team has a shot of doing something come ’13 on.

    Dickey seems like a similar “face” if only for a few years. it also depends on what he wants personally. The team needs a reliable starter (other than perhaps Niese). The team also has played it rather conservatively. Keeping these two and playing around the margins would be of character. Also, since many here have little faith in Alderson and co., really, do you expect them to get good returns for the two? I have my doubts myself.

    I’m inclined to think they would keep the two (ideally or not). If some change occurs, and who knows there, it is more likely that some other familiar faces go bye bye. It is not like Thole, Duda or Murphy (who just might be seen to be the most useful by some team out there) are sine qua nons.

    As to cost, if they keep them, some back-ending is possible. Anyway, is Captain Kirk still in their future? Is he still a possible starting CF? If not, who? Are those back-up catchers Joe Janish talked about available?

    I assume also the blog dog is doing well. There is a new children’s show where a dog blogs. Perhaps, if the dog is up to it, a guest post can be offered.

    • Joe Janish October 10, 2012 at 9:10 am
      Agreed – right now, considering the financial quandary the Mets are in, Wright’s value as the “face” of the franchise outweighs what his on-field value may be over the length of his contract.

      Thanks for asking about the dog. She’s doing OK, been home for two weeks and starting to get back to her routine. She had a good portion of her liver removed, and she’s an older dog, so we’re keeping fingers crossed that she’ll continue to improve. Will she ever blog? Not sure. Her typing is awful, and because she’s completely blind, she won’t be very good at picking good photos to go with her posts. 🙂

      • Joe October 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm
        Thanks for the update. Glad to hear the blog dog is hanging in there.
  7. DaveSchneck October 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm
    A few pennies worth of my take…
    1. Cy Young award candidates and all-star 3B do not grow on trees. The notion of simply trading one or both of these for “pieces” in the future is a huge gamble. Analysis of most of these deals shows that the teams dealing the star do not get equal value. Most of these “prospects” never reach all-star caliber.
    2. A trade of anyone should always be considered based upon return value vs. what is given up. DW and RA should be no different. The question is what they bring back, and if they are traded this winter each will be effectively a one-year gamble by the acquiring team. The notion of signing each for a hometown discount and then dealing them to get back players of greater value is far-fetched. I’m sure DW and RA aren’t quite that dumb and would build in no-trade buffers to prevent against that. Otherwise, why wouldn’t they just hold out, be a FA, pick their destination. and make more money?
    3. RA and DW are separate in that the commitment to RA will be much less risky based on the money and term. That said, I don’t buy the notion that signing Wright for 6 to 7 years means the Mets won’t get value at the end of the deal. Yes, there is risk, but there are also plenty of players in 2012 that put in very good seasons pushing the mid 30s (see Beltran, Willingham, Jeter). Not everyone is Jason Bay. DW appears to be a guy that takes good care of himself, and if you attribute his slumping more to the cast around him (which I do for 2012) then he is a pretty good bet.
    4. After 2013, they will have money to fill the holes. I think DW and RA can contribute at a pretty high level for 2014 and 2015, so my vote for is to sign each if the deals are reasonable. For DW, I’d go to the neighborhood 7/$125 and for RA no more that 3/$36, the numbers being folated out on the net.
    5. Of the two, I think it is much more likely that they trade RA, since Sandy Wilpon has indicated such in his recent codespeak interviews.
    • Joe Janish October 10, 2012 at 9:24 am
      1. True, they don’t grow on trees. But the Mets are a losing team with them or w/o them, and have very little help coming from the farm system anytime soon. Yeah, it’s a gamble, and often big prospect deals don’t pan out, but often they do. I’ll be writing a post about that soon enough. Bottom line is that neither player will be as valuable as they are now, and postseason hopes are unrealistic for the next two years at least.

      2. I’d be stunned if Sandy Alderson gave anyone a no-trade contract. But, I’ve been stunned before. Wright MIGHT be able to negotiate a no-trade option similar to the one in his current deal. But no-trades don’t really mean the player is untradeable — they just mean someone is going to have to pony up more money for the trade to happen.

      I don’t think it’s far-fetched to sign someone to an extension and then trade them — it’s happened many times before in other cities. I’m not suggesting the Mets will necessarily get better value, I’m suggesting that they need more volume in terms of talented youth.

      3. I think RA may be more risky, depending on the length of the deal. If he threw a typical 55-60 MPH knuckleball I might feel differently, but at 75-80 MPH he’s throwing with the same effort (if at less velocity) as any other MLB pitcher, which means he’ll experience the same wear and tear on his body as a “conventional” pitcher. It seems his lack of a UCL is a non-issue, but does anyone know for sure? Maybe he’ll pitch till he’s 50, but I wouldn’t be surprised if something broke down in the next three years.

      4. I don’t think the money coming off the books will go toward filling holes, I think it’s going toward paying off debt. Don’t forget all the young, homegrown talent will have larger contracts a year from now as players reach their arbitration years. Further, free agent pools are getting thinner each year in terms of quality. That means any truly impactful, quality free agents are over-valued and pick where they want to go. I’m not sure the Mets will be able to, or want to, overpay for someone, and not sure who will want to move to Flushing.

      5. Agreed, I can see RA going before Wright — if either are dealt.

  8. argonbunnies October 9, 2012 at 7:29 pm
    Letting Wright and Dickey go will free up payroll, which can then be spent on players who will probably outperform those two in 2016.

    However, trading Wright and Dickey is unlikely to bring prospects that will help the team more than Wright and Dickey would, even in 2016. That is not a comment about the duo’s trade value, it is a reference to the historical fact that that’s what usually happens.

    “Usually” and “unlikely” do not mean “never” and “impossible”, so if a total reboot is our only hope, then okay, go for it. I guess it depends on future payroll projections, whether we’re hoping to be the Angels or the Rays.

    • Dan B October 9, 2012 at 11:49 pm
      Logical, intelligent people such as yourself can see the value of freeing up DW and RA’s salary to be used elsewhere. But do you think the Wilpons will free up salary to reinvest it? Or do you think the Wilpons will free up salary to drive down costs? Did they reinvest the $50 million that came off the books last year? Teams like the Pirates and the Royals survived for years by maintaining ultra low payrolls and banking the money from the networks, etc… I fear that is the Wilpon’s plan as it guarantees profit with less risk.
      • argonbunnies October 10, 2012 at 3:35 am
        Sadly, I’m not even sure that that is not logical for the Wilpons. Imagine you own a team, but it’s a crappy team badly in need of a jumpstart from cash that you don’t have. So, what can you do except minimize your losses while you wait for signs of hope?

        So, yeah, maybe I should stop rooting for payroll flexibility that won’t be used, and just root for a losing team filled with likable players. Ugh. Nah, I can’t aim that low. I have to believe that we’ll have a chance to compete well before Wright’s an old man, and that ownership will in fact jump at that chance if Wright’s contract isn’t bogging them down.

  9. argonbunnies October 9, 2012 at 7:35 pm
    Honestly, what probably makes the most sense on a team with few difference-makers, no bargains, and an average farm system, is to tear the whole thing down, spend nothing, lose all the fans, and then build up something sustainable, so that when the wins and tickets start flowing in 2017, they keep flowing.

    Trying to stay around .500 to keep a few diehards in the seats probably is a losing proposition. We haven’t had a competitive team since 2008, and selling false hope has already gotten old.

    • DaveSchneck October 9, 2012 at 9:35 pm
      The great blog debate is whether the Mets should “tear it down” or try to retain as much as possible to improve next season. It is suggested over and over again that they would do long-term damage by only sustaining a .500 record next year. I just don’t see any evidence of this. In recent baseball history, exactly which teams have “broken it down” to “stock the system” and then “sustain a competitive team”? Maybe the Nats, who haven’t really sustained anything yet. They actually benefitted from something extremely rare – getting can’t miss players with back to back top draft picks. This may be unprecedented n MLB history. Without doing detailed research, it strikes me that most of the recent teams with sustained success (we’ll leave out the Yankees) such as the Cardinals, Braves, Angels, Giants, Red Sox, these teams sustain competitiveness through multiple generations of players without “breaking it down”. Teams like the Pirates, Royals, Orioles (for 15 years) failed miserably at building a core for sustainable winning. I don’t buy the “break it down” and restock theory. High quality players need to be retained if this can be done within financial reason unless the marketplace will pay an excess premium in a trade.
      • argonbunnies October 10, 2012 at 3:28 am
        Good points. Shaving payroll and getting your hands on every prospect you can is no guarantee of eventual success. Even sucking so bad every year that you get the #1 pick in the draft is no guarantee — hi Brian Bullington and Luke Hochevar.

        The thing about the Royals and Orioles, though, is they appeared to hinder their chances by half-assing it, giving payroll and roster space to low-upside veterans and holding onto tradeable assets while the team wasn’t ready to contend. You have to think the Royals could have gotten a lot for Soria any time before 2011.

        The model of rebuilding right is the Rays, which is what I was thinking in my post. Of course, that depends on better evaluation, drafting, and development than the Pirates.

        The Red Sox and Angels have played the Yankee game of spending more than the next guy. That’s us in 2005 with Pedro and Beltran. Alas, no longer an option.

        You’re right about the Cardinals and Braves, in that we could try to be them. But those organizations have fantastic track records of taking unheralded talent and turning them into difference-making big leaguers. (Had anyone heard of Kimbrel and Venters before they wee dominating in the big leagues?) I don’t know what their secrets are, but I kind of despair that we’ll match them. The other thing is, those teams never overpay for aging veterans. Great year from Drew? Gone. Sheff? Gone. Glavine and Smoltz aging? See ya. Pujols asking for a quarter billion dollars? Bye.

        If the Mets were either of those teams, you can bet we’d be making plans right now to acquire a third baseman when Wright turns down our sub-$100mil offer. (On the other hand, Wright might take that below-market deal if we’d been winning.)

        • Joe Janish October 10, 2012 at 10:01 am
          Unheralded talent? Maybe under-hyped because they’re not in New York, and not followed by Mets fans, who soil their pants when a teenage minor leaguer hits a few balls out of the park in BP, or a journeyman AAAA pitcher hurls five shutout innings in his big-league debut.

          Kimbrel was a massive talent from his first year in the pros, when he averaged 17.6 K/9 in his first 26 A-ball appearances. He had issues with control, but he still struck out over 14 per 9 through his minor league career. The difference, though, is that Atlanta doesn’t deem every youngster they have as the second coming, and if they do, we don’t hear about it because, well, it’s Atlanta. Compare that to the unending hype we heard about F-Mart, Blastings Thrilledge, Wilmer Flores, etc., etc., from the moment the ink was dry on their first pro contracts.

          The difference in those successful organizations is that they have outstanding scouting and decades of continuity in their scouting and minor league systems. In contrast, the Mets clean house every four years — so there’s no commitment to any kind of philosophy, and as a result, players aren’t found that fit into a system that doesn’t exist (they’re drafted simply in terms of raw talent), and they can’t develop as well as they might elsewhere. Josh Thole and Dan Murphy are prime examples of this lack of continuity and commitment.

      • Joe Janish October 10, 2012 at 9:49 am
        The Nats did break it down and build it back up, but more importantly, they had an uber-wealthy ownership focused on improving every aspect of the organization buy the team.

        I would argue that the Rays broke it down as well — even if they had nothing to break down after the first decade of their existence.

        The Royals and Pirates continually broke down their clubs, but never went ahead with finishing the build-up. As soon as players became valuable — i.e., they had to be paid — they were traded away. It’s assumed that a New York club will keep (read: pay) the good and great players they develop.

        The A’s are similar to the Royals and Pirates in that they’re also in a never-ending cycle of breaking down, but somehow they’re able to keep top talent just long enough to stay on the fringe of contention — and sometimes, like this year, they get a little lucky and find themselves in the postseason.

        And going back a few years, you could say that the Phillies “broke it down” when they shed Bobby Abreu, Jim Thome, Mike Lieberthal, Jon Lieber, Billy Wagner, David Bell, Placido Polanco, Kenny Lofton, Cory Lidle, Vicente Padilla, and Randy Wolf from 2004 to 2006. Though, they did manage to stay fairly competitive during that span, so it may not have seemed like a “break down” in the same way the Mets may need to break it down.

        To take another example from the NL East, the Marlins broke it down and built it back up from 1998-2003 (only to break it down again — but again, a function of economics like KC and Pittsburgh).

  10. Dan B October 10, 2012 at 11:04 am
    Before we write off Dickey because he throws so hard, let’s not forget a pitcher can still throw a 65 mph knuckleball and win. Most winning knuckleball pitchers threw in the mid 70s and 60s. Even after his arm strength goes the chance of Dickey still contributing is significantly higher then traditional pitchers not named Jamie Moyer.
    • Joe Janish October 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm
      I’m not writing off Dickey, I’m just pointing out that his situation is unprecedented.

      Further, if indeed Dickey suffers some kind of breakdown — and it could be a shoulder, elbow, hip, leg, back, or other issue related to the natural process of growing older — we have no idea of knowing whether he’ll be able to a.) pitch at any speed without pain; or b.) toss his knuckleball effectively at a lower speed. Personally, I have faith that he can figure out the latter. However, I don’t think it’s responsible to believe he’s impervious to physical breakdowns to which all other “conventional” pitchers are subject in the PEDs-testing era.

  11. Rob October 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm
    Joe: I guess that my only comment after reading all of these great posts is that the key to a successful Mets future is money…something that the Wilpons are not going to have for an extremely long time. They are financially stretched right now, they are looking at mediocre performance over the next few years and correspondingly mediocre ticket sales. In short, the Wilpons are a bankruptcy waiting to happen. I have said it repeatedly over the last twelve months: you can’t be centimillionaires and successfully own an MLB club; you need to be a billionaire or a corporation with a bottomless expense account for the “baseball” division. The Wilpons are clearly not going anywhere for the foreseeable future and the Mets are going nowhere as well. They have no vision (they can’t sustain success over long periods when they have had the money to spend so as to retain players) and they have no money (they can’t sustain success now because they have no money to spend). Alderson isn’t a solution so much as an excuse for them to point to as a “reasonable” effort on their part to rebuild a “sustained success” system. But they have no money, they have little major-league-ready talent (with glaring exceptions that I’m the first to admit cause me some excitement) and they have no patient fans who are willing to spend big bucks on tickets for mediocre results. I fear that the only solution that will work is to sell the team to a wise billionaire who will spend the money, sustain consistency in the scouting system, stay out of the way and reinject an ounce of faith into the fans. But none of this will happen. So we’ll see Wright and Dickey and a host of also-playeds over the next several years, finishing third or fourth and yearning for the days when we were respectable.

    Anyway, down off the soapbox. I’m depressed and I will miss Wright if he is dealt and I will resent the Wilpons and Alderson if he is not….how’s that for a catch-22 of feelings about this team?

    Keep up the great work and thanks for listening!

    All the best,

    • Joe Janish October 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm
      I believe you have effectively hit the nail on the head.
    • DaveSchneck October 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm
      Yes, this has been a lively discussion on the topic. I will take one last step on the soapbox but keep it brief – most all of us are not fans of the Wilpons, and wish we had a billionnaire owner with access to tons of cash (say, like the Yankees, Nats, etc). Despite the Wilpons’ financial problems – lost money with Madoff, too much debt, sagging gate receipts – they do own 65% of a billion dollar highly profitable TV station, and a MLB franchise and new ballpark in the biggest market in the US that is worth a minimum of $1.5 billion and probably closer to $2 billion. Watch the debt refinancing closely, the banks will take their business, they will consolidate debt and get better rates. These banks will see their true financial position. These folks are very wealthy, make no mistake about it. They choose to keep the payroll at $100 million, I doubt they are forced to do so.
    • wohjr October 10, 2012 at 7:30 pm
      As I said when it happened, Bernie Madoff screwed us completely… It was the worst possible scenario– the Wilpons being financially crippled from the fallout but still hanging on. They managed to avoid the legal coup-de-gras that would have forced them to sell the team and so will limp on in this fashion indefinitely because Fred will never sell (Jeffie, maybe after the old man is gone). I have to believe there is some really rich dude in India who loves cricket and wants to try out baseball ala prohkorff