New York City issued a bunch of bonds to build parking garages around Yankee Stadium. Seems that way fewer people are parking in them than expected, however, the garages have lost money both last year and this year and now it looks like the garage operator is going to default on rent payments to the city and bondholders are going to get stiffed as a result.
One way to look at this is to say that you’re pretty much a moron if you’re buying bonds backed by parking garage receipts at a facility with ample, cheap and convenient mass transit next door.
Another way to look at it is that this is just another example of public money being wasted on ballpark and ballpark-related projects. Because — as Neil deMause notes at the great Field of Schemes blog — even if it’s the bondholders and not the city who are left holding the bag here, the city issued bonds that are likely to end up in default, and that will make it harder and more expensive for the city to issue bonds for other projects in the future.
Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that the Mets have discussed a trade involving starter Matt Harvey with at least two teams. Apparently, the Mets were even willing to move Harvey for a reliever.
The Mets tendered Harvey a contract on December 1. He’s entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility and will likely see a slight bump from last season’s salary of $5.125 million. As a result, there was some thought going into late November that the Mets would non-tender Harvey.
Harvey, 28, made 18 starts and one relief appearance last year and had horrendous results. He put up a 6.70 ERA with a 67/47 K/BB ratio in 92 2/3 innings. Between his performance, his impending free agency, and his injury history, the Mets aren’t likely to get much back in return for Harvey. Even expecting a reliever in return may be too lofty.
Along with bullpen help, the Mets also need help at second base, first base, and the outfield. They don’t have many resources with which to address those needs. Ackert described the Mets’ resources as “a very limited stash of prospects” and “limited payroll space.”