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: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.