The Mets are close to closing on five of those $20 million ownership stakes

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The New York Daily News reports that the New York Mets are close to sealing the deal on five of the $20 million shares they’ve been trying to sell. The owners have been approved by Major League Baseball and the deals could close by the end of the month.  The Daily News:

With that, the team would raise enough capital to repay $25 million owned to MLB, a $40 million bridge loan to Bank of America and other club debts and operating expenses that have emerged in the wake of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme scandal.

There is a reported overall total of $350 million in debt — and the team has reportedly lost money in recent years — so that doesn’t handle everything. But it’s better than nothing.

Now, I’d just like to get a gander at the sort of person who gives the Mets $20 million for perks that are basically not much better than being a season ticket holder.

Teams still don’t know if three-batter minimum rule will be in effect for 2020

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According to Athletics GM David Forst, Major League Baseball has still not informed teams whether or not the proposed three-batter-minimum rule will be in effect for the 2020 season, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The league and the players’ union came to an agreement back in March regarding a handful of rule changes with the three-batter-minimum rule among them. From the way it was discussed, it seemed like it was set in stone. If Forst is unsure, then the league clearly hasn’t done a good job of communicating that.

Slusser notes that the A’s are operating as if the rule will be in effect, as the club non-tendered lefty Ryan Buchter earlier this week. Buchter has a career 2.86 ERA with 235 strikeouts in 214 innings, but the bulk of that success has come against left-handed hitters. This past season 115 of the 198 total plate appearances (58 percent) against Buchter were taken by fellow lefties. He held lefties to a .728 OPS compared to .904 against righties. As a result, despite Buchter’s overall terrific numbers, the A’s felt the roster spot could be more effectively used with a different player given the proposed rule.

Some teams may not make the same assumption as the A’s. What if a team keeps its lefty specialist(s) on the roster or goes out and acquires such a player, not knowing whether or not the rule is in effect for the upcoming season?

Since it has been brought up publicly, the issue will likely be resolved quickly and we should all have clarity on the rules for the 2020 season.