Yesterday was a good day for the Mets. Not only did they receive a favorable settlement in the Madoff case, but completed the sale of 12 minority ownership shares at $20 million a shot for a total of $240 million.
The Mets claim to have lost $70 million last season, and the new money will pay off loans to Major League Baseball ($25 million) and Bank of American ($40 million). They should be able to sustain their operating expenses for this season.
The Mets have a three-year break before they required to pay any of the $162 million from the settlement, so there is some sense of relief in clarity as they attempt to budget until that time.
It is clear the Mets will keep their austerity program, so don’t expect any big splashes at the trade deadline or next winter. Not going to happen.
My immediate wonder is David Wright’s status. If the team does put him on the block in July it will send the message things are still bleak and the Mets are in full rebuild mode.
Considering Wright’s recent health issues – plus the financial aspect of it – I don’t see the team signing him to an extension.
However, by announcing he won’t be traded this year and perhaps picking up his option, it will tell the Mets’ fan base there is something positive in the future.
Fred Wilpon stung Wright last year when he said he wasn’t a superstar, which statistically was accurate. However, Wright is a talented player who is the face of the franchise, one who has done more than most in dealing with the public.
Wilpon owes it to Wright to make some kind of gesture that he wants him as part of the Mets’ future.
It’s not a huge splash, but one big enough that says Wilpon is confident about the future.