The Mets deal with David Einhorn continues to be delayed

6 Comments

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.

Phillies sign Francisco Liriano and Neil Walker to minor league deals

Francisco Liriano
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
2 Comments

Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.

Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.

Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.