This is fun. Howard Megdal has a book coming out about the Wilpons and the Mets, and it contains a pretty juicy claim. The claim: that Fred Wilpon asked Bud Selig to put the kibosh on the deal he made to sell a stake of the Mets to David Einhorn because he was afraid of losing the team.
The report, passed along in the New York Post, is that after the deal was reached in principle, Wilpon got cold feet, realizing that Einhorn’s option to purchase a controlling interest in the Mets was way too obtainable. Wilpon, not wanting to lose the team, asked Bud Selig to intervene and strike portions of the deal in which Major League Baseball would assist Einhorn in taking over if the provision was triggered. As the Post puts it, “to play bad cop” as it were. This angered Einhorn and the deal quickly died. Major League Baseball sharply disputes Megdal’s reporting, calling him a self-promoter. Megdal stands by it.
This strikes me as one of those things we’ll never know 100% for certain because that kind of business — called in favors from friends, etc. — isn’t exactly documented in official reports. Megdal has a source or two telling him this. Baseball denies it. It’s just … business.
Juicy business, though.
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.