As we know, the Wilpons are selling off minority stakes in the New York Mets. They want multiple investors to give them $20 million a pop for a non-controlling interest.
Now, anyone familiar with close corporations knows that having that kind of stake in such a business — especially a family business — is an exercise in powerlessness. You have no say in just about anything. The draw of such an investment is that you’ll either (a) get some good cash flow out of it; or (b) your stake will appreciate nicely. And neither of those two things seem likely any time soon with the Mets.
So why would you invest? Well, Richard Sandomir of the New York Times tells us today. Among your ownership perks:
… the $20 million would include one free trip with the team during the regular season (the Mets would pick the city); one free weekend’s stay at spring training; and a lot of potential lunch dates — with broadcasters and former players. A luncheon with the manager and general manager? Off-season only, the document says. Merchandise? Discounts, but not giveaways.
So if a midweek trip to Houston, an all-expenses paid stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Port St. Lucie, an in-season lunch with Wally Backman, an offseason lunch with Terry Collins and deep discounts on an R.A. Dickey bobblehead all sound enticing to you, by all means, give Fred Wilpon that extra $20 million you have laying around.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.