What we speculated since the news broke of the Madoff Ponzi scandal has come to fruition; the Wilpons are in financial straits.
To what degree, we don’t know and might not until after commissioner Bud Selig meets with the Wilpons. But, that they are entertaining the idea of bringing in new investors tells us the family has issues. One would think the Wilpon’s close relationship with Selig would preclude a complete sale of the Mets.
According to reports, selling a portion of the Mets is to raise money for Sterling Equities. What we don’t know is how much input any new investor will get for his 20 to 25 percent. And, with limited input, what is the incentive to buy in?
The Wilpons have repeatedly said the Ponzi incident has not, and will not, impact decisions made about the Mets and how they do business.
However, the hiring of Sandy Alderson as general manager at the suggestion of Selig, and how little the Mets spent this winter is indicative in their streamlining approach.
We know the Mets will not give an extension to Carlos Beltran and are hoping he’ll get off to a good start and be easier to trade. We can also bet the Mets will attempt to limit Francisco Rodriguez’s appearances to less than 55 to avoid his option kicking in. He’s also somebody the Mets will attempt to deal in July.
There’s also reasoned speculation the Mets will seriously entertain offers for Jose Reyes, the player that would attract to most in return.
What we’ve been told so far is the blueprint is to evaluate the team this year, build a competitive base and add pieces with money saved when several bulky contracts are off the books.
Alderson said several times having more flexibility next year doesn’t guarantee breaking the bank. Frankly, dealing Reyes, if it comes to that, says the Mets are starting over.