The new Madoff-Wilpon judge makes the Mets’ prospects look a whole lot brighter

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I missed this in all of the McCourt crap last week — I really do only have so much brain space for legal/financial baseball news — but the case against the Wilpons and Saul Katz was moved from bankruptcy court into regular old court court, which was what Wilpon and Katz had wanted.

And better yet, the judge handling it all, The Hon. Jed Rakoff, said a number of things from the bench suggesting — and it’s only suggesting — that he may view the Wilpons’ duty to inquire into whether Bernie Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme to be far less encompassing than the bankruptcy trustee, Irving Picard, has suggested.

Today there is a profile on the new judge in the New York Times — a maverick of sorts — that may hold even more good news for the Mets:

“I can’t guarantee this, of course, but my tendency is to try to get quick decisions,” he said during a hearing last week in which he evinced, at least for the purposes of the legal argument before him, a fair amount of sympathy toward the team’s owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz …  He suggested that in accusing the owners of being “willfully blind” to the possibility that Madoff was a fraud during their many years of investing with him, the trustee might be holding them to an unfair standard.

Quick and favorable? Boy howdy, would that change things for the Mets, wouldn’t it?

Report: Phillies place Justin Bour on waivers

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies have placed first baseman Justin Bour on waivers. The Phillies are creating space on the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 protection deadline on Tuesday.

Bour, 30, opened the season with the Marlins but was traded to the Phillies in August in exchange for minor league pitcher McKenzie Mills. Overall, Bour hit .227/.341/.404 with 20 home runs and 59 RBI in 501 plate appearances.

Bour doesn’t really have a spot on the Phillies’ roster considering he is strictly a first baseman and the Phillies already have Carlos Santana. The Phillies may try to trade Santana to move Rhys Hoskins back to first base from left field.

If Bour clears waivers, he can reject an outright assignment to the minor leagues and become a free agent. However, considering how slow-moving the market for bat-only 1B/DH types has been in recent years, Bour may have trouble latching on with a new team on a guaranteed major league contract. If Bour is claimed, the claiming team will be responsible for paying him as he enters his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. MLB Trade Rumors projects Bour to earn a salary of $5.2 million in 2019.