Mo Vaughn: real estate tycoon

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Vaughn Mets.jpgMo Vaughn used to spend his offseasons here in Columbus, Ohio.  Our paths crossed in a very, very vague way about seven or eight years ago as one of his investments — a bar he opened called “Flo Nitelife” — crashed and burned almost as soon as it opened. I represented a creditor, there ended up being no money in the joint anyway, and everyone decided that there was no sense in everyone suing everyone else.

I took two things away from that experience: (1) the certainty that one should never, ever go into the bar business unless one is in tight with both the booze distributors and the code enforcers, because you’re roadkill if you’re not; and (2) the feeling that, while Mo Vaughn may not have been the best bar owner on the planet, he was a pretty nice guy. I mean even my client who was left holding the bag on some fixtures that weren’t paid for swore that Vaughn was a great dude. Stuff just happens, ya know?

All of which makes me happy to see that Vaughn appears to have turned his business fortunes around, this time in New York:

These days he’s got it–not as the American League’s former MVP but as
the managing director of one of the city’s best-regarded and most
active buyers and managers of affordable housing. Along the way, Mr.
Vaughn and company have earned a place as one of the city’s top choices
for turning around distressed residential properties.

Vaughn may not have panned out as the Mets’ first baseman, but he’s doing much better in the Big Apple his second time around.

Jake Diekman will miss at least half of the 2017 season

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 9: Jake Diekman #41 of the Texas Rangers works against the Toronto Blue Jays in the sixth inning during game three of the American League Division Series at Rogers Centre on October 9, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.

Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.

The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.

The Blue Jays and Bautista have reached a one year deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on during batting practice prior to game five of the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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It’s been on the verge of happening for a few days now, but now it’s official: the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have reached a one-year deal with a mutual option. The deal is pending physical. An announcement making the deal official is expected later in week.

The exact financial figures have not been disclosed, but Jon Heyman reports that it will be in excess of the $17.2 million Bautista turned down when he turned down the Jays’ qualifying offer.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.