Fred Wilpon

The Mets recently received a $40 million loan from Bank of America

23 Comments

UPDATE: Via Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, the Mets have released the following statement:

“The bridge loan was approved by Major League Baseball and the syndicate of lenders to the Mets. The process for the sale of minority shares in the team continues to go very well.”

7:22 PM: Just in case the Mets’ offseason approach didn’t make it obvious enough already, the team’s owners remain hard up for cash.

According to Michael S. Schmidt and Richard Sandomir of the New York Times, the Wilpons and Saul Katz received a $40 million loan from Bank of America in the past six weeks. It’s being described as a “bridge loan” as they attempt to raise money through the sale of minority stakes. The Mets received a $25 million loan from MLB earlier this year, but have been unable to repay it.

People familiar with the team’s situation have said the owners had firm commitments from at least seven investors interested in buying a small share of the team for $20 million apiece. Still, until all are sold, none of the investors have had to turn over cash.

Vince Gennaro, a consultant to several major league teams, said that the $40 million loan “says to me that their finances continue to be tight, that there is a cash pinch.”

He added: “The team underperformed, and this tides them over until they get their money. They need cash flow.”

Now, Gennaro said, between the bridge loan and the $25 million owed to baseball, “the first $65 million has to go out the door” should the team sell an adequate number of shares in the team.

Two people with knowledge of the team’s finances told Schmidt and Sandomir that the Wilpons and Katz may have to consider selling the team if a full lineup of minority investors is not in place by next spring, though they have publicly expressed confidence on the matter.

Moises Alou pledges to help Cubs give “closure” to Steve Bartman

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 7:  Moises Alou #18 of the Chicago Cubs hits a two-run home run in the first inning against thye Florida Marlins during game one of the National League Championship Series October 7, 2003 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
3 Comments

After the Cubs won the World Series last month — their first since 1908 — owner Tom Ricketts said he plans to reach out to Steve Bartman to provide “closure.”

Bartman was the fan who interfered with left fielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. Alou was particularly irate about Bartman’s presence and it led to the fan becoming persona non grata in Chicago. In the time since, even before the Cubs won the World Series, the club has tried to make amends but Bartman has rejected offers to speak publicly and he has also rejected invitations to Wrigley Field.

Alou pledged to make time to attend any ceremony the Cubs stage for Bartman, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago-Sun Times reports.

Alou said, “Why not? I’d like to meet Bartman.” He continued, “I have nothing against the guy. I said it right after the game. I had the ball, and I got upset, but at the same time it’s not that kid’s fault. Everybody goes to the ballpark, and they bring a glove. Every wants to catch a fly ball.” However, He still maintains that he would have caught the ball if he had not been impeded.

Diamondbacks sign Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million deal

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Jeff Mathis #6 of the Miami Marlins hits a grand slam during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
3 Comments

The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.

Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.

The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.