Last week the Daily News reported that the Mets deal with investor David Einhorn was being slowed up because the Mets, no longer shackled by the exclusive negotiation window with Einhorn, were talking to others who may offer them a better deal. Today the New York Post tells a somewhat different story: the Einhorn deal isn’t sealed yet because another Mets lender — J.P. Morgan Chase — is blocking it.
Why? Because Einhorn’s deal, though thought of as an investment in the team, is functionally like a loan. As in, he’s offering the Mets money now, is taking a stake of the team as, essentially, collateral, and will be repaid in three years, at which time his stake is reduced to 16 percent. That 16 percent can be thought of as interest.
At least that’s how J.P. Morgan sees it. And, as someone who is owed way more money by the Mets than Einhorn will be, and as someone who lent money to the Mets earlier, they want to be paid back before Einhorn is.
So, the Mets are still negotiating with everyone and are likely still shopping around for other investment offers. But it’s not necessarily out of a pure position of leverage over Einhorn. It’s partially because they can’t yet get the deal done with him.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.