After speaking with a variety of legal experts and those around the baseball world, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com warn that the current litigation into the Wilpons’ involvement in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme may result in an exposure of MLB’s financial records.
Here’s what one former club president had to say:
“This is bad news for the Mets and everyone in baseball. Because of revenue sharing, everybody’s a partner of everyone else in a greater way than ever before. The discovery process and document searches aren’t going to be confined only to the Mets. This will get back to MLB.”
Rosenthal and Morosi paint one hypothetical scenario where the Mets may have cut a check from a Madoff-funded account in order to satisfy an obligation to MLB, such as the revenue-sharing system. Irving Picard could then ask MLB to tell him where the money was applied.
You can bet that MLB would do their best to keep this information under wraps, but Rosenthal and Morosi write that it would become public knowledge in the event of a trial. This is one of the reasons why commissioner Bud Selig is reportedly hoping for a settlement.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.
In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler Austin–Greg Bird combo in 2017.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.
Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.