Report: Ruling close on $1 billion lawsuit against the Wilpons and Saul Katz

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According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff is expected to issue a ruling as soon as Monday on whether to toss all or part of a $1 billion lawsuit against the owners of the Mets.

Trustee Irving Picard is suing the Wilpons and Saul Katz in an attempt to capture funds for victims of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. He seeks $300 million in “fictitious profits” and an additional $700 million in principal from the Wilpon family, alleging that they turned a blind eye to the fraudulent activity.

While Rakoff’s ruling is important, it won’t be the final word on the situation. One potential scenario is that he could throw out the $700 million lawsuit, leaving the rest to be decided at a trial set to begin on March 5, 2012. Rakoff’s ruling could ultimately lead the two sides to have more serious talks about a settlement.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.