Last week the Daily News reported that the Mets deal with investor David Einhorn was being slowed up because the Mets, no longer shackled by the exclusive negotiation window with Einhorn, were talking to others who may offer them a better deal. Today the New York Post tells a somewhat different story: the Einhorn deal isn’t sealed yet because another Mets lender — J.P. Morgan Chase — is blocking it.
Why? Because Einhorn’s deal, though thought of as an investment in the team, is functionally like a loan. As in, he’s offering the Mets money now, is taking a stake of the team as, essentially, collateral, and will be repaid in three years, at which time his stake is reduced to 16 percent. That 16 percent can be thought of as interest.
At least that’s how J.P. Morgan sees it. And, as someone who is owed way more money by the Mets than Einhorn will be, and as someone who lent money to the Mets earlier, they want to be paid back before Einhorn is.
So, the Mets are still negotiating with everyone and are likely still shopping around for other investment offers. But it’s not necessarily out of a pure position of leverage over Einhorn. It’s partially because they can’t yet get the deal done with him.
The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.
Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”
Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.
Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.