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.

Mets sign Jose Lobaton to minor league deal

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The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.

Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.

In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.