UPDATE: The New York Times confirms Adam Rubin’s report and adds that the deal being discussed between Einhorn and the Mets does not include SNY, which is the team’s television network. Einhorn didn’t say much during the conference call Thursday, but was adamant that he had “no interest” in owning a television station.
9:30 AM: Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that David Einhorn does indeed have a path to majority ownership with the Mets. Of course, that was the assumption all along, as it wouldn’t make much sense if he didn’t have that option, but the exact terms of the deal are a doozy.
Einhorn has agreed in principal to purchase roughly 33 percent of the team for $200 million, which will infuse cash and keep the organization solvent in the immediate future. In three years, according to the source, Einhorn has an option to up his stake to 60 percent, although principal owner Fred Wilpon and his family have an opportunity to block Einhorn from gaining that majority stake.
The source said the Wilpons can stop Einhorn from gaining the majority share essentially by returning Einhorn’s initial $200 million investment yet allowing him to keep the 33 percent share of the team.
So, basically, in three years either Einhorn will either have majority control of the Mets or get his initial $200 million investment back and still keep one-third of the team. Kind of makes you wish you had $200 million sitting around, right? Not only is this the best deal you’ll see this week (year?), but it also tells you how hard-up the Wilpons are for cash right now.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.