Report: Mets won’t receive additional “substantial” financial assistance from MLB

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We learned earlier today that the Mets are currently seeking another loan to cover operating expenses. Well, according to David Waldstein of the New York Times, they won’t be able to look to Major League Baseball to stay afloat for the long-term.

The league already extended a $25 million loan to the Mets in November, but Waldstein reports that they won’t make another significant loan to the club.

The two people briefed on the situation said baseball could conceivably re-evaluate its position in the coming months if it thought it needed to protect its larger interests, like trying to avoid a fire sale of one of its elite clubs. In addition, with opening day a month away, baseball could make a modest short-term loan to help the Mets avoid defaulting on certain payments, like player salaries. But it would not be enough to rescue the Mets’ owners in any long-term sense, the people suggested.

“It’s tapped out,” one of the people briefed on the situation said, referring to the availability of more money.

The Mets may end up borrowing against the value of the team in an effort to run out the clock on a potential sale, but I can’t help but feel the Wilpons and Saul Katz are headed down the same road as Tom Hicks from a couple of years ago.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.