The Mets’ search for investors is moving slowly

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When David Einhorn backed out of buying into the Mets, the Mets announced that rather than finding one big sugar daddy that they’d look for multiple sugar babies instead. Investors looking to give them, say $20 million a pop.  The search for such beasts has been ongoing, but it’s not going quickly:

At this point, none of the units have been sold, said two people briefed on the status of the sales who spoke on the condition of anonymity. They added that there were strong buyer commitments for as many as seven of the shares. However, until there are equally firm offers for the other units, it is possible that none of them will be sold.

I still don’t get who would want to own a small part of a closely-held corporation like this. No control and the possibility of capital calls whenever.  Fine, you can say you own a piece of the Mets and get a suite at the games.  I could go to parties all over the city for a year and tell people I own part of the Mets and I bet no one would bother to call my bluff.  A suite can be had for less than $20 million.

Oh well. The rich are different than you and me.

The Phillies plan to spend money and “maybe even be a little bit stupid about it”

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In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.

“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.

“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.

Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.

How novel.