According to the New York Post, Mets ownership is close to refinancing a $250 million dollar loan. The re-fi is expected to give the team more financial flexibility:
Until recently, it wasn’t certain investors weren’t going to insist the team owners pay down some of the loan to get the refinancing done.
Wilpon and Katz will not be asked for any cash paydown, sources said.
Plus, interest payments are expected to stay about the same, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said.
The Mets spent about $87 million on free agents this offseason – a marked jump in spending from the past few years, in particular last offseason, when they spent only $5 million. Perhaps optimism about this re-fi was part of the reason the Wilpons felt comfortable loosening their wallets this winter.
They’re still not spending with the big boys – and no one is going to outspend the Yankees, whether you play in New York or not – but the point is to have the financial flexibility to make the moves you have to make, rather than settling on a team full of minor league contracts with invites to Spring Training.
I doubt this news will inspire any more huge transactions this offseason – Stephen Drew is still in play, but the Mets seem to be treating him as a nice-to-have, not a must-have.
As much as I’ve been critical of the Wilpons, they are at least making an active effort to get out from under the debt left to them by Bernie Madoff.
I hope the next time Fred Wilpon says his financial troubles are over, like he did last year, that it’s really the truth.