The Wilpon case gets a mediator: Mario Cuomo

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The Wilpons and the bankruptcy trustee of the Madoff case are having a daily back and forth in the papers. The judge is probably getting tired of it. Yesterday he did something about it:

A federal judge on Thursday appointed former New York Governor Mario M. Cuomo to try to resolve the $1 billion dispute between the owners of the Mets and the trustee representing victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s financial fraud.

If it makes any difference, Cuomo is a Yankees fan.

Of greater significance is that this is an ordered mediation, not one the parties agreed to.  In my experience those sorts of mediations don’t go very well. But my experience also involves way more $250,000 cases than billion dollar cases — in fact, it involves zero billion dollar cases — so who knows?  My sense is that this move is more aimed at calming the waters right now than anything else and drawing the media’s fire to a much more famous target in Cuomo.  Not a bad idea, actually.

Now I’m going to surf around the Internet in an effort to find some baseball news that has nothing to do with the legal system, because that’s way more life-affirming.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.