Wilpons To Refinance; They Aren’t Going Anywhere

As you greet the third day of the new year, Mets fans can digest the reported news (ESPN and The Post for starters) that ownership has refinanced $450 million in loans borrowed from SNY.

How this is structured, I don’t know, but it protects the Wilpons from having to make an overwhelming payment that would prevent them from retaining the team.

Presumably, the money will be used to pay off existing debt – including the structured court-ordered payments from the Ponzi scandal – with little going in the direction of player additions. (Save $25 million owed Johan Santana in his final season with the Mets).

It basically means what you think it means, that things are likely to remain the same in the foreseeable future. Look for nothing substantial in the rest of the free-agent market, and as in previous years for management to sit on their hands at the trade deadline.

GM Sandy Alderson has successfully slashed $50 million from the budget of the team he inherited, which was what he was hired to do.

The Mets were willing to commit up to $20 million to R.A. Dickey before they traded him for prospects, but now without that obligation there’s no word what they will spend that money on. Alderson said the team will have greater flexibility after the 2013 season when Santana is off the books, but he also said not to look for a big splash in the free-agent market.

With FA spending not an option for at least two years, and the Mets refusing to part with their young pitching in trades, and having little else to deal on the major league level, the team’s direction is to wait … and wait … and wait, until their prospects develop. And, of that there are no guarantees.

When you look at the Mets in comparison to the rest of the NL East, Washington has shown a willingness to spend, and Atlanta and Philadelphia proactive adding to a superior core. The Marlins seem in comparably bad shape – if not worse – than the Mets, but at least they are warm down there.

When you look at the rest of the National League, the Dodgers, Giants, Reds and Cardinals are all immediately better, financially more solvent and better run than the Mets. Even Pittsburgh, which hasn’t had a winning season in two decades, is more aggressive.

So, when people ask how long it will be until the Mets are competitive or relevant again, it is difficult to forecast. It might be two, three years before Matt Harvey blossoms and Jon Niese reaches his potential. There’s room for growth with Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada and Bobby Parnell.

But, even if those things happen, we still don’t know who’ll be in the outfield or bullpen. We don’t know who’ll be in the rotation. We don’t know about catcher. We don’t know where David Wright will be in his career.

What we do know is the Mets have a myriad of questions, aggressive teams in their division and no definitive spending timetable.

We do know we have a long wait.












7 thoughts on “Wilpons To Refinance; They Aren’t Going Anywhere

  1. I don’t think you should credit Alderson for ridding 50 mil. He would deserve credit if he would have done it and improved the team. He has been an utter failure at building a major league team. He might as well followed the Marlins lead and dumped all the payroll. They did more salary stripping in one day thatn this fraud did in three off seasons and two seasons.

    • Allow the youth to arrive and develop Ed? You mean like Pittsburgh for the last 20 years. You mean like the Mets of the 90’s boy that generation k was sure a success story wasn’t it? You brag about Cashen! ONE WHOLE CHAMPION. boy half as good as those hapless Marlins. How does anyone justify and efend a GM who has sat on his butt for three Winters. He got two or three prospects in his awesonme time here. That’s not even as many GMs as our on the roll. And you use the losers line of What would you have him do? As if every ball player not on the Mets is a piece of crap. Your response is nonsenses. If e\if you love the prospects he got, and they all make it at a rate of one per year it will take him only 25 years to develop a good team. But wait, some will age and most will leave because Wilpon won’t pay. I won’t accuse you of being Alderson but you sure act as if you are hypnotized by his lies and his boredom. Sad that there actually more than one like you. Fans want to win. Alderson lovers want to defend Alderson. Sad but true.

  2. Nathan – a failure? After 3 years in charge, with a modest payroll and a bunch of bloated contracts, not to mention a poor minor league system? What did you expect him to do, wave a magic wand and have Lucas Duda become a star? Josh Thole to not stink?

    John – we can sit here and complain that they aren’t spending money, but ask this question –
    Who should he have signed?
    Victorino for 3 yrs $39 million (no thanks, the man is in steep decline)
    Anibel Sanchez?
    Torii Hunter?
    Joe Blanton?
    Ryan Dempster?
    Francisco Liriano?
    Nick Swisher?
    About the only guy would be BJ Upton, and he had possible disaster written all over him.
    The cost of those guys is way too high while the risk is also too high.
    Too often in the past the Mets made the big splash. And too often, it failed. Yes, Beltran was one that worked, but Pedro, Bay and others did not work out.
    Allow the youth to grow. Look at the 1986 team, most of those guys were home grown, or obtained through trades (thanks to depth in the farm that allowed Cashen to make deals).
    There is not a lot of depth here to trade from. You can’t trade a Niese, when you don’t have a replacement ready, especially with questions about Johan and Dillon Gee coming into the year.
    I’d rather them wait until after next season to sign someone. And perhaps by then, we will have a better idea of Wheeler and some of the other young arms, and maybe Sandy can then made some deals.
    Who knows, maybe he can make some deals in July.
    Thowing good money at bad players is why Sandy had to dump so many contracts in the first place. Saying he should repeat the mistakes of the past makes no sense.

    • It is too bad that the banks are financing this failure.

      You make some good points about who is available. The problem is they have problems spending $2m so it is hard to say how we can improve. Sandy said we had a 2 or 3 year extension for the Cy Young ready. Is that true? Who knows. They probably would have signed him for that and promptly traded him.

      I am still in shock that they paide David.

      To be fair to Sandy we have signed several AAA outfielders so we can field a team such as it is.

      At the end of the day we are a NY team with more resources than most of the league and we suck and will suck next year. Yes it takes time to build the minors and I feel we are getting better there. We are drafting players that might play for us one day and allowing the players there to develop. So we shall see.

      Last year Sandy said we would have more flexibility this year and I don’t see it as we had two free agents to sign just to tread water and we could not/ would not do it.

      In some ways I wish Jason were here. We have to pay him anyway and at least he plays defense and tries.

      • Did you know dave that the man who is so intent on building from the farm FAILED to sign half of the kids he drafted. Not one or two but half!!!!!! How is that building from within. Its all a lie. When the payroll is low enough the Wilpons will make a profit and old Fred will root for his Dodgers to win again.

        • Padilla

          The rules changed this year. There is a cap of money you can spend and so you have to allocate your money. You can overslot some players which means you cannot afford to pay all. I am ok with the draft. We got some good kids I think. It was a predictable draft of solid picks that will add depth to the system. We got a SS and some pitchers. The previous year we got an OF. It will take time but I think we have done OK in the draft. I like what Sandy does with who we have. He did not bring Harvey up when we lost our pitchers. He allowed him to get better in AAA. The same with Wheeler. We have a hole in the rotation but there is no talk of him making the squad in the Spring. I am not sure how much of what he does is because Fred has no money but that has to figure. Yes he may suck but if he is constantly building and we have a good team in 2 years when Harvey and Wheeler lead the staff with Niese and a few others in the rotation; a good pen and a good young defensive team in the field I will be happy.

          IMHO the main problem is the owner not the GM.

    • Actually Sandy from Westchester, I think its very amusing you give yourself credit fro taking three years to get rid of most big contracts when other GMs id it ina flash. But hey, your retort is that nobosdy would take the Met trash even tho someone took it from Boston and someone took it from Florida. but I guess its too damn hard to do more than one thing at a season when you have so many failed GMs all trying to screw up a franchise. But thanks for defending yourself Sandy. Its always amusing to see the never ending lies and support for this failed regime. Maybe the solution would be to get uncle Freddie a new ponzi scheme. Ponzi schemes always help crooks like uncle fred.