Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon

The Wilpons aren’t gonna be out all that much money

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We’ve heard scary numbers regarding the potential liability of the Mets owners in the Madoff mess. The trustee, Irving Picard, was using the B-word at times last year. Recently it was thought that their exposure could be $300 million or more.  A couple of weeks ago they were ordered to pay $83 million as part of the case. And today, of course, they settled for $162 million.

But in reality, it’s a lot less than that leaving their pockets.

For starters, this is because that $162 million settlement actually includes the $83 million that they had already been ordered to pay.  But the biggest thing working in their favor here is that the $162 million is to be paid out of money the Mets owners may recover in a settlement by virtue of them being victims of Madoff themselves. And they may very well recover a significant amount, as others, closer to Madoff, have put billions into a fund for that purpose.

Heyman reports that Wilpon and Katz may be out a mere $37 million net by the time this is all done. And that even then it will be payable over four years. Which is the price of a good starting second baseman.

Theoretically. I mean, it’s not like the Mets have one of those.

Report: Dodgers could pursue three-year deal with Rich Hill

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Rich Hill #44 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs in game three of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.

Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.

The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.

Yankees in, Red Sox out on Edwin Encarnacion

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on against the Cleveland Indians during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler AustinGreg Bird combo in 2017.

The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.

Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.