Wilpon, Katz’ potential liability reduced in Madoff case

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Yesterday the judge in the Bernie Madoff case dismissed all but two counts against Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, owners of the Mets. Staying in play was the fraud charge which, theoretically, could have had Wilpon and Katz on the hook for $1 billion. This morning, however, the judge issued a second ruling, capping the potential damages at $386 million.

This certainly changes the game for Wilpon, Katz and the Mets, who just had their worst case scenario — and their ceiling in any kind of settlement — dramatically reduced.

Reached for comment during today’s game, Terry Collins suggested that Wilpon and Katz just pull out of the case now and declare victory.  Wilpon later had to explain to Collins that that only works for batting titles.

The Cards dealt Stephen Piscotty to the A’s, in part, so he could be near his ailing mother

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Last night we wrote about the rumored deal between the Cardinals and the Athletics for Stephen Piscotty. The deal is now official, with Piscotty going to Oakland for minor leaguers Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.

Something else emerged about the deal today: a big reason why St. Louis traded Piscotty to Oakland as opposed to another team was so that he could be near his mother, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease last May. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

Here’s Cardinals GM John Mozeliak:

This was certainly a baseball trade — Piscotty became expendable for the Cardinals after they acquired Marcell Ozuna yesterday — but it was one which could’ve been made with any team with a couple of red or white chip prospects. That Mozeliak considered Piscotty’s personal situation in making the deal with the A’s is a credit to him and his staff.

The 26-year-old Piscotty hit .235 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 107 games last season. He has hit .268 with 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2+ major league seasons. He agreed to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension last spring.

As for the prospects in return: Munoz, 22, hit .300 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs this year for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Schrock, 23, batted .321 with seven homers and 46 RBIs for Midland, and was a Texas League All-Star.