Mo Vaughn: real estate tycoon

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Vaughn Mets.jpgMo Vaughn used to spend his offseasons here in Columbus, Ohio.  Our paths crossed in a very, very vague way about seven or eight years ago as one of his investments — a bar he opened called “Flo Nitelife” — crashed and burned almost as soon as it opened. I represented a creditor, there ended up being no money in the joint anyway, and everyone decided that there was no sense in everyone suing everyone else.

I took two things away from that experience: (1) the certainty that one should never, ever go into the bar business unless one is in tight with both the booze distributors and the code enforcers, because you’re roadkill if you’re not; and (2) the feeling that, while Mo Vaughn may not have been the best bar owner on the planet, he was a pretty nice guy. I mean even my client who was left holding the bag on some fixtures that weren’t paid for swore that Vaughn was a great dude. Stuff just happens, ya know?

All of which makes me happy to see that Vaughn appears to have turned his business fortunes around, this time in New York:

These days he’s got it–not as the American League’s former MVP but as
the managing director of one of the city’s best-regarded and most
active buyers and managers of affordable housing. Along the way, Mr.
Vaughn and company have earned a place as one of the city’s top choices
for turning around distressed residential properties.

Vaughn may not have panned out as the Mets’ first baseman, but he’s doing much better in the Big Apple his second time around.

Report: Mets aren’t likely to trade Noah Syndergaard for prospect package

Noah Syndergaard
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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Mets aren’t looking for long-term investment pieces in a trade for right-hander Noah Syndergaard, per unnamed sources. Instead, any deal the club makes will likely center on players who can make a difference for them in 2019 as they attempt to rise from last year’s fourth-place finish in the NL East and make a run at the postseason.

The 26-year-old starter has been a fixture of the Mets’ rotation since he got his start in the majors in 2015. Despite missing nearly the entire 2017 season with a torn lat muscle in his throwing arm, he returned to pitch his third full season in 2018 with a winning 13-4 record in 25 starts, 3.03 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 9.0 SO/9 through 154 1/3 innings and finished the year with his first complete game shutout, to boot. After receiving a $2.975 million salary in 2018, he’s slated for another three years in arbitration before entering free agency in the 2022 season.

So far this offseason, the Padres have been the only team linked to the righty, though they didn’t come close to completing a trade when they first inquired about him back at the July deadline. If the Mets are serious about dealing Syndergaard, as Rosenthal seems to suggest, they could very well look at acquiring another couple of arms to round out their rotation. Assuming Syndergaard is moved this winter, the team will enter 2019 with right-handers Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler, lefties Jason Vargas and (the oft-injured) Steven Matz — and relatively little depth behind the four.