The Wilpons and the bankruptcy trustee of the Madoff case are having a daily back and forth in the papers. The judge is probably getting tired of it. Yesterday he did something about it:
A federal judge on Thursday appointed former New York Governor Mario M. Cuomo to try to resolve the $1 billion dispute between the owners of the Mets and the trustee representing victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s financial fraud.
If it makes any difference, Cuomo is a Yankees fan.
Of greater significance is that this is an ordered mediation, not one the parties agreed to. In my experience those sorts of mediations don’t go very well. But my experience also involves way more $250,000 cases than billion dollar cases — in fact, it involves zero billion dollar cases — so who knows? My sense is that this move is more aimed at calming the waters right now than anything else and drawing the media’s fire to a much more famous target in Cuomo. Not a bad idea, actually.
Now I’m going to surf around the Internet in an effort to find some baseball news that has nothing to do with the legal system, because that’s way more life-affirming.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot. He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.
Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.
The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.
On Monday, we learned that the Mets offered to swap catchers with the Brewers, Travis d'Arnaud for Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers, as expected, turned that down. The two still continue to discuss a trade involving Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
The Mets certainly could use some help at catcher. The club has gotten an aggregate .608 OPS from their backstops, the fourth-lowest mark in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates, Rays, and Indians. However, the Mets seem to be behind other teams — including a “mystery” team — in the bidding, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.
Lucroy, who took Thursday off, is batting .300/.361/.486 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 371 plate appearances for the Brewers this season. He can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club opts against picking up his $5.25 million option for the 2017 season.