Mets’ new owner David Einhorn won $660,000 in World Series of Poker and donated it to charity

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Most people probably responded to this morning’s news of the Mets adding a minority owner by thinking of, say, the financial ramifications and impact on the team, but my first thoughts were “the name David Einhorn sounds familiar” and then “I think I’ve seen this guy on television playing poker.”

Sure enough, before investing $200 million in the Mets he was featured during ESPN’s coverage of the World Series of Poker main event back in 2006, finishing 18th–in between well-known pros Jeff Lisandro and Prahlad Friedman–for a prize of $659,730.

And the reason he was a prominent storyline during ESPN’s coverage is that Einhorn pledged ahead of time to give all his winnings to charity, donating the money–which could have been as much as $12 million–to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

He was knocked out of the tournament–which was the biggest in poker history with 8,773 players ponying up $10,000 apiece–by eventual champion and card-catching king of the world, Jamie Gold.

Donating that kind of score is a good indication that Einhorn has pockets deep enough to help the Mets and an even better indication that he’s a pretty good guy. And a pretty good poker player too.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.