The Mets may have found a minority investor

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The last time we heard that the Mets were close to landing their sought-after minority investor — Steve Cohen — the deal went sideways.  So it was try, try again and, according to the New York Post, they’re getting close once again:

Team ownership has chosen a preferred bidder — the group led by former commodities trader Ray Bartoszek and investor Anthony Lanza — and have been in advanced talks since last week on the proposed deal to sell up to a 49 percent stake in the money-losing team for $200 million, sources told The Post.

As always, there are still details to nail down. One, which could be an issue, is that apparently Bartoszek and Lanza want a piece of SNY. Which seems reasonable given that it makes tons of money and the Mets, at the moment anyway, not so much.  You want equity, Fred, you gotta give up something of value, right?

According to the post, Wilpon wants this deal to close by June 30th. I’m assuming that date is important for fiscal year purposes, but given Wilpon, that could just be the release date of the next in-depth interview he gave and he wants to get out in front of things.

Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

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The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.

Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.

Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.

Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.