The last time we heard that the Mets were close to landing their sought-after minority investor — Steve Cohen — the deal went sideways. So it was try, try again and, according to the New York Post, they’re getting close once again:
Team ownership has chosen a preferred bidder — the group led by former commodities trader Ray Bartoszek and investor Anthony Lanza — and have been in advanced talks since last week on the proposed deal to sell up to a 49 percent stake in the money-losing team for $200 million, sources told The Post.
As always, there are still details to nail down. One, which could be an issue, is that apparently Bartoszek and Lanza want a piece of SNY. Which seems reasonable given that it makes tons of money and the Mets, at the moment anyway, not so much. You want equity, Fred, you gotta give up something of value, right?
According to the post, Wilpon wants this deal to close by June 30th. I’m assuming that date is important for fiscal year purposes, but given Wilpon, that could just be the release date of the next in-depth interview he gave and he wants to get out in front of things.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.