Are the Mets in serious financial trouble?

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The New York Post is quoting anonymous investment bankers and others reportedly with knowledge of the Mets’ finances who say that the Wilpon family is strapped for cash, saddled in debt and that they could even have to sell the team if things don’t turn around quickly. The report itself might be just as troubling as the news therein, however.

From what I can tell, just about all the specifics — the Madoff scam, the fact that the team is heavily in debt, the fact that Citi Field bonds are now at junk status and the fact that attendance, and thus gate, is way down — are old news. There was one thing I hadn’t seen — that the Wilpons mortgaged the team to the tune of $375 million — but the fact that they were able to do so in this tight credit environment suggests that someone is actually optimistic, as opposed to pessimistic — about their and the Mets’ earning ability doesn’t it?

The only inside source on which the Post relies sounds more like loose and opinionated lips of someone with vague knowledge of the team’s finances as opposed to someone who’s actually intimately familiar with them.  Quotes like “the family is no longer a bottomless pit” just don’t sound like they came from someone in the business office. The rest of the article is speculation based on those facts listed above that were already known.

I’m not saying that things are rosy — the team could very well be having more financial trouble than we know about — but this article seems like a lot more noise than information.

The Giants are interested in Evan Longoria

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.

Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.

Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.

If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.