11-12-12 – Broke, Davey Johnson, Red Sox Catching, Winter Stats


The latest claims that the New York Mets are broke make sense. 2012 was just another cash drain the Wilpon family’s other investments are as far under water as this one. You would think by now that even these guys have had enough. My guess is the plan is to hold out until the $50mil TV money comes through in 2014. Cutting fish with Jason Bay may be nothing more than a simplification move any seller might do to attract possible buyers. Still, the Commissioner should be involved here but he’s in the Wilpon’s pocket and has publically stated that he feels everything is just hunky-dorry in Flushing. God, what a mess. We’re going to have to wait out the off-season to see whether the writers of the team officials are right. Oh, and forget when anyone brings up that a David Wright extension could be affected here. The 2013 money is already on the books and, if there was a pending sale, it would be hard to convince me that any new owner wouldn’t want David as part of the deal.

This is all ego folks. The team is easily worth $1-1.5bil in the open market. This is a major league baseball franchise with a state of the art new stadium in the largest city and media market in the United States.

The Washington Nationals announced this weekend that they will extend manager Davey Johnson’s contract for one more year. After that, he will go into a ‘consultant’ role, which is where old guys like me wind up. Johnson easily goes down in Mets history as one of the most successful managers in the 50-year existence of the team. He became the manager in 1984 and took over a team that hadn’t won a pennant in 11 years. All he did was win at least 90 games in each of the first five seasons he was with the Mets, plus he brought home the trophy in 1986. 1990 rolled around and the Mets got off to a meh start (20-22) so they fired the eventual member of the Mets Hall of Fame. Johnson’s currently continues his laid back approach and has done a wonderful job with the Nats. He’s been a big loss to the system for 13 years and baseball needs more guys like this.

Boston has signed C David Ross to a 2-year, $6.2mil deal, making things pretty confusing for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. We all know how much Boston is in love with their catching prospect, Ryan Lavarnway, so the simple assumption is that Salty is on the block. Do the Mets want him? Let’s face it, he’s been pretty much a BA bust in the 6-years he’s played for Atlanta, Texas, and Boston (.239), but you have to love the 25-HRs in 405-Abs last season. He’s also a switch hitter so there would be no need for any kind of platoon. So, what you would have is sort of a Josh Thole with power. Now you just have to figure out what would make Boston happy to make this deal. Jon Niese? Daniel Murphy? Wilmer Flores?

My thoughts from yesterday’s ‘War Room’:

          Let’s spend a little time with the Red Sox.

They have three things to do in the next 11 months… clean out their 40-man, get rid of at least one bad contract, and make the World Series.

Boston is another town where making the playoffs just isn’t good enough.

Trading for Jarrod Saltalamacchia isn’t as simple as it sounds. He’s a free agent in 2014 and you could easily wind up with a one year catcher. The deal only makes sense if the Mets sit down and pound out a 3-4 year deal for his services so they can put this position out of play in the organization.

The second player you would want in this deal would be a prospect outfielder like Bryce Brentz, or Jackie Bradley Jr. Jacob Ellsbury is not available. There are only five outfielders on the 40-man (Ellsbury, Ryan Kalish, Daniel Nava, Jerry Sands, Ryan Sweeney) so there isn’t an excess here for the Sox to deal with.

No, their excess on their current 40-man (whatever that is because all of the 40-man squads on the official websites are a mess) are 23 pitchers.

It’s obvious that we’d like to get an outfielder in this deal, but that might be obtainable with the deferred Bay money. Instead, there is an opportunity here to steal a young pitcher, like Rubby de la Rosa, or Andrew Miller.

                                                Winter Stats

OF Darrell Ceciliani – 66-AB - .258/.342/.348/.691, 13-K, 9-BB
3B Wilmer Flores – 79-AB - .329/.411/.519/.930, 13-K, 9-BB
OF-3B Dustin Lawley – 37-AB, .297/.316/.486/.802
C Francisco Pena – 59-AB, .271/.323/.458/.781, 2-HR, 10-RBI
OF Cesar Puello – 73-AB, .247/.360/.274/.634, 24-K, 7-BB
OF Cory Vaughn was 3-4, 2B, HR, 2RBI in Puerto Rico Winter League play.
OF-IF Jordany Valdespin – 40-AB, .275/.396/.450/.846, 4-K, 8-BB
RP Greg Burke – 14-G, 1.23, 0.89, 14.2-IP, 14-K, 4-SV
RP Ryan Fraser – 7-G, 3.86, 1.29, 11.2-IP, 6-K, 4-BB
RP Adam Kolarek – 8-G, 1.59, 1.76, 11.1-IP, 8-K,, 4-BB, 16-H
?P Greg Peavey – 7-G, 3.27, 1.27, 11.0-IP, 6-K, 5-BB
RP Elvin Ramirez – 7-G, 3.68, 1.77, 7.1-IP, 6-K, 4-BB
RP Carlos Vazquez – 12-G, 4.35, 1.06, 10.1-IP, 10-K, 5-BB

                                                Hot Stove


          Minnesota - 29-year-old RH reliever Tim Wood  - AAA: 8.6 SO & 3.0 BB per 9, 1.11 WHIP, 3 HR in 70 IP

          Minnesota – C Eric Fryer – 26-yrs old – 2012/AAA - .204


USMF said...

OK, the Wilpons aren't broke...they are having money problems because of the bad economy and losing all the money they had wrapped up in Madoff doesn't help.

The Mets are separate from the Wilpons even though the Wilpons are the owners. Just like the SNY is a separate from the Wilpons. The Mets and SNY have problems because they took out a ton of loans to help them out and because of all the losing and bad economy, they can't pay the money back. As far as the Mets losing money, I'm sure that's just a budgeting numbers game...I'm betting that they just aren't making as much as they want but once you mix all the Mets/Citi/SNY pot together the team is in the black. If the team was that broke, they why the multi million dollar extensions for the FO All Star Team they've built?

As far as Wilpon and Selig goes, I truly believe that Alderson is Selig/MLB's choice to run the team until he can get the team back to being "profitable". When was the last time we've seen Wilpon be this hands off with the roster? Have we heard any reports of Fred working on signing Wrigth or RAD to an extension? That never would have happened unless Fred was told to be hands off until Alderson was finished doing what he started two years ago.

The real sad thing is, that as much as many want the Wilpons out, it won't do much to fix the money problems of the team. It's the Mets and SNY and CityField who owe the Money, not Fred. So of the team was sold, then all the debt problems would still be there.

One thing we can look forward to as a sign of better things is when Wilpon/Sterling Enterprises is awarded the Madoff Clawback money.

Mack Ade said...

a very good observation...

the Mets organization is a singular entity and is not financially tied in with any of the other Wilpon assets...

still, that entity is losing a ton of money and has lost the borrowing power to keep things going at the same pace, no less a higher one...

we're all guessing here, but I'm sure their goals is to hold on for the $50mil additional TV money in 2014.

Additionally, my guess that, if anything is sold, their share of SNY would go first.

Two things will show us the direction... will any of the Bay money be used to sing someone or will it just go to the books... and will they trade Dickey for ARB minimum wage players...

Charles said...

My house can't barrow money, but as owner I could barrow money against the house.

The Wilpons owe the money, with the Mets, Citi, Sny as the collateral.

If they sell, they'd have to pay the debts first before pocketing any cash, otherwise they'd still be broke of they just don't pay anything and lose it all.

To say the Wilpons have no debt is wrong. It's their debt from loans received by using their property as collateral.

Just look at the Dodgers. Their owner was broke. He sold team, paid his debts, and still had enough to be a billionaire. The Willys hopefully will do the same.

To say they can just sell and leave the team is debt is wrong, it doesn't work like that.

Charles said...

Also Mack, I was wondering...

About that new tv deal. Every team will get around 50 mill right? But, there's got to be a existing deal in place that already pays then something. Is that deal so outdated that its only a small fraction of the 50 mill the future deal will pay? Because whatever their getting now sure isn't helping, so why would this new money help.

Unless teams haven't been getting anything this whole time which seems impossible.

Mack Ade said...

Charles, when a company loses $40,000,000 a year, I'd say they were broke.

The Mets are broke.

They will have new revenue from the TV rights and hosting the All-Star game, but, as of today, they can not pay their nut without borrowing more money.

I do have some questions regarding the Bay payout however. Are they actually going to write him a check before the end of this year? Where are those dollars coming from?

Mack Ade said...

Charles, none of the new TV money has gone to any of the teams...


you can go to your local bank and borrow against it...

USMF said...

The Mets, SNY and CitiField aren't a "home" they are companies that are part of a larger Sterling Equities which is owned and run by Fred. As a business, the Mets/SNY/CitiField can borrow money and that debt belongs to them, not Fred.

The debts of the Mets/SNY/CitiField do not have to be paid off if the team gets sold. Per the LA Times on the Dodgers sale..

"McCourt would take home $1.588 billion from the sale while leaving the new buyers to inherit $412 million in team debt, according to Friday's filings."

One big difference between the Mets and the Dodgers is, while the Mets are losing money, Fred has plenty and is diverse enough to be OK. McCourt was going bankrupt and was going through a divorce. The team was making money, but Frank was stealing money from the team which is why MLB got involved.

Mack Ade said...

You seem to have a greater knowledge of this situation.

I hate talking to anonymous people :)

Mack Ade said...


Okay, let's thing "operating profit".

I once was VP of bad paper for the radio properties owned by GE Capital. My job was to "turn around" a bad situation, which means I first had to stop losing money (fire employees, cut down services, etc.).

You are probably right about Fred having money. The rich always do, right?

But the "business" of the Mets is flooded with debt.

There is new money on the horizon... TV money, All-Star hosting...

Cot just adjusted the Mets 2013 payroll into the 70s, and that includes the $20mil for Wright and Dickey.

Wouldn't the prudent thing to do an an operator be to trade these two for minimal wage prospects (4-6) and continue to lower the payroll into 60s, possibly the 50s?

You play 2013 with what's left and you grow from within... then, come 2014, the TV money hits and, regardless of your win-loss record, you return your "business" to one that banks would be happy to work with you.

USMF said...

A little bit of research goes a long way, plus I studied up on the whole Madoff/Wilpon thing back when it hit big which gave me a lot of insight on how Sterling is built. Fred's not a saint, but I do think he often gets unfairly vilified by the Media and fans because it's easy to do and fans are upset about the how bad the past six years have been.

I do want to know how much money is being deferred from Bay. I heard that a lot of it was, then a little, then almost none from this year but maybe the buyout or signing bonus money was.

I want to know what the deal really was...because if only a little from this year got deferred, then what was the point? Why not trade him and pay all his 2013 salary and let his new team worry about the option or just simply release him?

I ask the question, but everyone thinks I'm nuts and should just be happy that Bay is gone.

USMF said...

Mack, I think your "turn around" job is exactly what Sandy is doing. I think a lot of what he says in the media is a ploy to keep fans from going completely nuts.

I still wouldn't be surprised if Wright and RAD are gone and Alderson somehow tries to put the blame on them much like he did with Reyes.

Now the only reason I can see to keeping Wright is that losing him would cost the team more money in the long run. Especially in an overly saturated entertainment market like NY, you need to win, but you also need stars to draw fans to make money.

But if Reyes wasn't worth the deal eh got, why would an older Wright deserve a bigger/longer deal?

Part of me agree's with the Trade them now and look towards the future. We already know the 2013 is going to be like 2011 and 2012. It won't matter how good the team is playing, Alderson won't do anything to improve the team during the season and he'll look for any opportunity to trade away players.

I just wish that he pulled the Bandaid off two years ago instead of dragging it out for so long. The Red Sox have traded away their star in the past going back to Nomar, Manny and the flock of players last year. The Fans don't like it, but they recover quickly if the team turns out better for it.

Mack Ade said...


I love Wright and Dickey, but, as a businessman, the "face" of this team is gone.

No more chit chat.

Wright and Dickey will never be worth more. You can target Boston and Toronto and get all the prospect OFers , catcher, and possible a young SP.

I'm writing about this tomorrow, but what if you walk away with Andrew Young, Jackie Bradley, Travis d'Arnaud, Brett Lawrie, and Anthony Gose?

(definitely going to hear from Charles on this one...)

Your team is set in 2015 for 5 years and your payroll is under 80...

Mack Ade said...



thank you for joining in here...

this site can be a great one for "adult" Mets fans to have intelligent discussions about this team.

Please let me know if you have any desire to write for us.

If not, please come back daily to the comments section.


Charles said...

I stand corrected, it just seems to me, that if Fred owns a company and that company owes a million dollars, then ultimately Fred owes it too.

I would think, that any sale wouldn't be completed without this being settled and the debt paid off.

Mack....if you can get that package, then trade them all. I just don't see that package coming back without the Mets eating a lot of the cash. Plus, not every team is willing to kill their minor league system for a one year rental.

I think, a good package of at least three prospects could be had for both. Dickey gets you one, Wright gets you two.

Mack Ade said...

It could be more Charles, depending upon the team and the phone calls between the agents and the GMs of the teams that would be gain Wright and Dickey. Both of these would be perfect sign-and-trade situations.

Some teams build for a future. Other teams, like Boston, need to win NOW. I'm not that big on Salty... I'd rather have two or three of their younger prospects. They have great SPs, outfielder and an outstanding young catcher (Blake Swihart) in their system. I guarantee you that Dickey could bring two players.

As for Wright, you put a robo-call out to 29 teams and tell them that David Wright is available and sit back and watch the phone ring.

TP said...

You said it in your article, "The team is easily worth $1-1.5bil in the open market. This is a major league baseball franchise with a state of the art new stadium in the largest city and media market in the United States". These guys are short on cash but not broke. Remember those shares they sold earlier this year, they boought most of them themselves. They can spend $120 mil on the 2013 if they chose. It is there right not to, and the fans' right to reject paying for the product.

On the keep or trade point, it really depends on what the market would pay. If they can come back with low risk, high potential, MLB ready and cost controllable studs, do it. I'll believe that when I see someone pay that price, but they should be listening on everything. I still prefer to keep both on reasonable deals, but it's time to pull the trigger one way or the other.

Mack Ade said...


Every minute I spend on this today brings me closer to what USMF has said.

This is all a plan to go small ball.

Say goodbye to Wright and Dickey.

Make was for the kiddies.

Mack's Mets © 2012