Sure, Greenberg and Ryan have made a deal with Hicks, but they’re not the only ones that matter. According to Sports Business Journal, a hedge fund called Monarch Alternative Capital — which came in late in the game and bought up a bunch of Hicks Sports’ Group’s debt when they nearly defaulted on their obligations last summer — has yet to sign off. And they may not, because they think that Hicks passed up a better offer: from Houston businessman Jim Crane.
SBJ is saying that Monarch is “unlikely” to scuttle the deal, but that it has a reputation for “going to the mat” for the last dollar. They’re also none too pleased with the fact that Hicks is still going to end up owning part of the team post-sale, making
him a buyer and a seller.
Because Monarch is essentially a debt vulture, it may not get much sympathy from the banks and everyone who matters here on the pure dollars of it all. But I continue to think that they have an excellent point regarding Hicks being on both sides of the deal. That has stunk to me from the get-go, and I have no idea why, if there were better offers than Greenberg’s, his partners in Hicks’ Sports Group and others haven’t raised a stink about it.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.