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2012 New York Mets - Post Madoff Discussion

Updated on March 21, 2012

2012 New York Mets

The Madoff Mess is Somewhat Solved

So What Happened?

Mets ownership took two mighty leaps forward on Monday.On one hand, they settled the claw back lawsuit that has been interfering in the financial planning of the club for the last year and a half.The $162 Million is considered a HUGE win for Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz.The original sum of $1 Billion would have been crushing but this amount doesn’t even equal what they are trying to get back as net losers in the Ponzi scheme.They could essentially pay out $162 million and wind up getting back a substantial part of that anyway.In any case, they don’t have to start paying out any of it for three years and I’m sure they are thrilled with that outcome.

They closed the sales of the 12 minority stakes in the team and instantly repaid the $25M MLB loan and the $40M Bank of America loan.They also apparently paid off $100M of their debt load which is still very significant but certainly helps the outlook of the team.With the impending sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers going north of $1.5B, the New York Mets would be valued similarly.This could allow ownership to restructure/refinance their debt which would help the long-term finances of the team.

What Can We Expect to Happen?

Well, I’m not an employee of the Mets or anything but I think the road to financial stability starts with putting a competitive team on the field.If you have a competitive team, people will come out to support them.This is New York and we’ve proven that 3Million attendance is certainly doable.The management team has to get their financial ledger in order and decide if there really is any money to be spent on this team.I’ve heard that GM Sandy Alderson has about $2M sitting around that he could spend right now, but he’s sitting on it until he’s sure Johan Santana is ready to go.But then what?The rotation was OK last year and if it duplicates last year, with Santana duplicating Capuano’s numbers, that shouldn’t be hard to imagine.Even so, there are a few pitchers available if we wanted to sign someone.RUSHING THE ROOKIES is not an option.

The bullpen, theoretically, should be better than last year.This is where Sandy spent his money.I’m going to assume they stay pretty solid and DON’T blow 24 saves like last year.We fans like to think the team was terrible last year but it WASN’T.If the bullpen had saved half those games we would have been in the Wild Card Hunt.As it was, nobody took up the closer role and we faded away in August and September.

The payroll has dropped $50M but seriously, people forget how much of that figure belonged to the departing contracts of Carlos Beltran ($19.3M), Francisco Rodriguez ($12.15M), Gary Matthews Jr ($1M), Capuano and Young ($2.5), Ronny Paulino and Taylor Buchhloz ($2M together) which is almost $37M in players we didn’t bring back.Never mind the complete losses of Oliver Perez ($12M) and Luis Castillo ($6.25M) as they were released in Spring Training.

Beltran is still a solid bat but not at $19M and Rodriguez can still close but his option was for $17.5M which wasn’t worth it either.The only true loss on this club is Jose Reyes.Make no mistake, it’s a huge loss.Will a healthy Ike Davis, David Wright (maybe), a normal Jason Bayand a full year of Lucas Duda make up for Reyes’ loss?

I honestly don't know.......

However, I don't think the Mets will start spending because, let's face it, there isn't much left to shop through. I think we may have money to spend near the deadline if, and this is a big IF, the team surprises and does well enough to contend in a very strong division. If there is a piece needed at the trade deadline, MAYBE, we'll be able to add salary but right now, outside of signing Roy Oswalt, I don't think there is a solid move to make at this time.

As fans, let's try to stay positive. As much as I don't particularly like the Wilpons, they were willing to spend on this team, it just wasn't spent wisely. Perhaps with the new regime in charge, they can make some positive additions while they build the young core they obviously want to start with. Think back all of you 80's fans. Those Mets started with a great young core (Strawberry, Gooden, Darling, Sid Fernandez, Roger McDowell, Lenny Dykstra, Rick Aguilera) some of whom were home-grown prospects, some we traded for, and then Frank Cashen added veterans as the final pieces of the puzzle. It's a winning formula so let's see if Sany Alderson can duplicate it.....

Stay strong my friends and support your Mets!!!

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