Last April Steven Cohen — a bald man with glasses and thus, with the exception of having eight billion dollars to his name, is like me in most respects — was reported to be interested in buying into the Mets. Then that all went away as he got involved in the bidding for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But guess what? He still wants that minority stake in the Mets, and according to the Los Angeles Times, he is on the verge of getting that stake:
Steven Cohen, the billionaire investor trying to buy the Dodgers, is on the verge of becoming a minority owner in his hometown New York Mets. The deal would not preclude Cohen from pursuing the Dodgers, according to two people familiar with the transaction but not authorized to discuss it.
Not surprisingly, a hedge fund guy is hedging his bets. If he gets the Dodgers, he owns the Dodgers. If he doesn’t, he has his foot in the door and is through the approval process with Major League Baseball in the event that the Mets are sold outright.
In that case — assuming the team isn’t in bankruptcy — the blessing of Major League Baseball will be way more important than almost anything. And having given Bud Selig’s best buddy Fred Wilpon $20 million to tide him over will certainly put Cohen in Selig’s good graces.
But if he gets the Dodgers, he will have to sell that Mets stake. Which seems like it’d be difficult. But I guess we can file that under Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Problems.
The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.
Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.
The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.