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.

Padres may have more interest in Dallas Keuchel than Bryce Harper

Dallas Keuchel
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An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.

As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.

While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.