Skip to content

We’re nearing round two of the Mets-seek-investors thing

Apr 8, 2011, 10:31 AM EST

CORRECTION Mets Sale Baseball

A source tells the Daily News that the list of potential investors in the Mets has been whittled down to eight, and that those eight have all been vetted by Major League Baseball, leaving the decision solely in the hands of the Wilpons.  The offers are characterized as ranging from “marginally acceptable” to “very acceptable.”  There is talk of a round two, so we may very well have a further narrowing down in the future before we hear of any decision.

By the way, this quote, from the head of a sports investment bank, may be the quote of the year:

“I personally know seven billionaires who love the Mets and would love to own the Mets”

Personally? Well, then.

Anyway, I’m still way less interested in the cash involved than I am in the details of the deal. Specifically, whether the offers contain any provisions for the investor to increase their stake in the team in the future if they so desire or if certain things happen with respect to the Wilpons in terms of liquidity, liability or what have you.

  1. mithrophon - Apr 8, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    If I was a billionaire with only two investment choices, becoming a minority partner with the Dolans or becoming a minority partner with the Wilpons, then I would choose the Wilpons.

    That’s pretty much the only scenario in which “winning” the Mets minority owner competition would be a palatable outcome.

    • paperlions - Apr 8, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      The Wilpon’s are already selling off assets just to pay the bills. The Mets are projected to lose money again this year, and the huge debt load the Wilpon’s have accrued is not going away….and in all likelihood they will be on the hook for 100s of millions of dollars in the current Madoff lawsuit. If I was interested in owning an MLB team, I’d be interested in as big a portion of the Mets as the Wilpon’s are willing to sell, given the stipulation that I had first dibs on buying any additional interest in the Mets that the Wilpon’s choose to sell. It seems highly likely that additional interest in the Mets will have to be sold….they could sell their SNY interests, but those are actually profitable.
      .
      Even if the Wilpon’s sell 40% of the Mets, it won’t net them much cash because the banks will have to sign off on any sale, and likely will require that much of the sale price go directly to them, as the Wilpons would be selling off the collateral on which the loans are based.

  2. BC - Apr 8, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    MarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCuban
    MarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCuban
    MarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCuban
    MarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCuban
    MarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCuban
    MarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCuban
    MarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCubanMarkCuban
    (power of positive thinking….)

    • chrisny3 - Apr 8, 2011 at 12:04 PM

      You’re crazy. You do know that even if the whole team were up for sale, there’s very little chance Cuban ever gets admitted to the exclusive club of MLB owners.

      Or do you just like writing his name over and over and over again … like some sort of uncontrollable tic?

      • BC - Apr 8, 2011 at 12:43 PM

        All work and no play makes BC a dull boy.
        All work and no play makes BC a dull boy.
        All work and no play makes BC a dull boy.
        All work and no play makes BC a dull boy.
        All work and no play makes BC a dull boy.
        All work and no play makes BC a dull boy.
        All work and no play makes BC a dull boy.
        All work and no play makes BC a dull boy.
        All work and no play makes BC a dull boy.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 8, 2011 at 1:13 PM

        Yeah, but could you play at something that makes sense? The chances of Cuban becoming an owner of any MLB team are probably less than 5%. The chances of him ever becoming a majority owner of the Mets are probably less than 1%.

    • jwbiii - Apr 8, 2011 at 2:00 PM

      BC, Please read this. Money quote:

      Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he would be open to talking about a potential purchase if approached by the [Mets].

      “On the Mets, I’m not gonna chase it, I’m not gonna call out [to them]. If they want to contact me, if they have an interest and they think I’d be a good owner, I’d take their call and I’d be more than happy to discuss it,” Cuban told ESPNNewYork.com

  3. yankeesfanlen - Apr 8, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    This would make a perfect addition to DISH Networks portfolio Great profit potential:
    1) Have tv rights without paying
    2) Rent Metropolitans Highlights discs through Blockbuster (low production costs, run 2 minutes)

  4. chrisny3 - Apr 8, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    So much for all the talk that the Wilpons wouldn’t be able to find a minority investor. So much for all the talk that Steve Greenberg was just lying or blowing smoke when he very early characterized interest in a minority stake in the Mets as extremely high.

    As for an option to buy a larger share, as I said, such an option is almost irrelevant given that (a) exercising of the option would be entirely at the discretion of the Wilpons and (2) I would think the majority owners, having hand-picked the minority partners, would welcome them as successors in the event they decide to sell.

    As for proceeds from the sale, here is what the Daily News says:

    “The team would conceivably pay off a $25 million loan it recently got from MLB and some of its bank debt on the club itself. That would leave about $100 million for the team.”

    That $100 million left over sure sounds like a good chunk of change to me, and would in part be used to cover projected operating income shortfalls for the team in the current and next 2-3 years.

    • paperlions - Apr 8, 2011 at 12:20 PM

      When you are paying interest on over a billion dollars in loans, have that principle to pay down, have over $100MM in player salaries for 2011, and have many other expenses associated with running the franchise…..having $100MM on hand doesn’t sound like much at all to me.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 8, 2011 at 12:32 PM

        The bulk of that billion is in long-term stadium debt which is already accounted for in the team operating budget.

        $100 million is plenty to cover projected operating income shortfall for the next few years.

    • seeingwhatsticks - Apr 8, 2011 at 2:31 PM

      Actually you don’t know if the option would be entirely at the discretion of the Wilpons, which is what Craig, myself, and others are interested in seeing. The Wilpons could be left with a decision between taking less than what they consider market value for the share in exchange for retaining that discretion, and taking a more lucrative offer from a group that would insist on having the option to buy a larger share over time (say, an additional 5% every 5 years with the option disappearing if they decide not to increase their share during any 5 year period). There could also be a clause giving the minority owner right of first refusal should the Wilpons decide to sell another share of the team, which could create a situation where the Wilpons plan on selling another 10-15% and the minority group blocks that and leaves the Wilpons in a position where they either sell all or nothing.

      There are a lot of ways of structuring a deal like this depending on the ultimate goals of the minority group and it’ll be very interesting to see what Bud and MLB “encourage” them to do if the above mentioned scenario (a more lucrative offer that includes options to buy a larger share) was on the table.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 8, 2011 at 2:39 PM

        And you don’t know whether or not any option at all is entirely off the table at this point, which one media report said it is.

        I feel sorry for you because all you argue is speculation. You never argue the facts. Or even just speculation that is at least offered by experts in published media reports. You just make up whatever it is you want to argue.

        And you were totally wrong about Greenberg.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Apr 8, 2011 at 2:44 PM

        You’re speculating by saying none of the 8 offers include any avenue to a larger interest in the team. I didn’t say there for sure was a path, just that it’ll be interesting to find out if there is and what form it takes.

        As for Greenberg, I seem to remember you and him saying there were “dozens” of offers from “qualified” investors, yet there are apparently 8 at this point. That couldn’t possibly be an example of Greenberg exaggerating the level of interest, could it?

      • chrisny3 - Apr 8, 2011 at 2:53 PM

        You are incorrect. I am speculating that any option, if included, would be for a path to a majority stake solely at the Wilpons’ discretion. Please read more carefully.

        Moreover, there has already been one report stating that there will be no option whatsoever. So my speculation at least has some foundation in a media report, whereas yours is usually totally just in your head.

        And, LOL, neither Greenberg or I ever said there were “dozens” of “offers” to buy the Mets. I specifically said there were “dozens” of interested parties in buying a minority share, basing my statements on published reports. The process didn’t even allow any bids at the initial stages. Is your memory really this bad or do you purposely skew things in an effort to make yourself not look so bad?

      • seeingwhatsticks - Apr 8, 2011 at 3:16 PM

        My memory is bad on this because I don’t care that much, I just find it interesting.

        Having worked in PR I can assure you there are many, many ways to say something that is factually correct but serves to obscure the truth to suit a narrative. For example: let’s say the minority owners have the option to buy 5% more of the Mets every 5 years but lose that option in the future if they decline to buy 5% at the end of any 5 year term. And let’s say that the Wilpons also have the right to refuse a 5% increase, but in order to do so they would have to buy back the entire minority share at whatever the market value is at the time they refuse. In that case the WIlpons would retain “sole discretion” but realistically, given their current financial problems, they would never be able to exercise it because they couldn’t afford to buy back that share. It is factually correct to say that they retain “sole discretion” but not realistic.

        Until there is a contract in place and we see the terms everything is speculation.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 8, 2011 at 3:27 PM

        No, that is not true. Not everything is pure speculation like your statements usually are. I actually base much of my points on things in published reports.

        And you keep saying you don’t care, yet you keep replying to my comments. LOL. Actions speak louder than words. And your not caring or caring is no excuse for continually misrepresenting what I’ve said and what others have said. If you can’t get the facts relatively straight, then don’t comment at all.

        And, again, there has already been one report that there is NO option at all. That is not speculation. It was in a report. Understand the difference?

      • seeingwhatsticks - Apr 8, 2011 at 3:30 PM

        I’m sure there has been one report that there is no option, but is that no option in any of the offers or no option in one of the offers? Are there no options on the table because the minority groups don’t want one, or because the negotiations haven’t progressed to that point yet?

        Like I said, until there is a contract in place EVERYTHING is speculation, including your beloved one report.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 8, 2011 at 3:39 PM

        No, everything is NOT all speculation. The report said that there would be no options for a path to majority ownership in any of the bids. I don’t know if the report is accurate or not, because the truth has taken a big hit in this whole Wilpon thing, and I only saw it in one newspaper, but it was published.

        Whereas almost everything you argue is pure 100% speculation with no basis in fact or published reports. You just make things up in order to argue.

  5. paperlions - Apr 8, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    You are right and completely unbiased Chris. I don’t know how I didn’t see it before, you can tell the owners of the Mets are in fantastic financial shape based on all the money they are spending on players the last 2 years…only a solid and wealthy team could add such an illustrious list of players 2 years in a row:
    .
    2010: Rod Barajas, Jason Bay, Henry Blanco, Kiko Calero, Frank Catalanotto, Alex Cora, Elmer Dessens, Kelvim Escobar, Josh Fogg, Ryota Igarashi, Mike Jacobs, Shawn Riggans, Fernando Tatis
    .
    2011: Chris Young, Taylor Buchholz, Chris Capuano, Kent Tsujimoto, DJ Carrasco, Justin Hampson, Taylor Tankersley, Casey Fossum, Blaine Boyer, Dale Thayer, Tim Byrdak, Boof Bonser, Ronny Paulino, Dusty Ryan, Raul Chavez, Jesus Feliciano, Scott Hairston, Willie Harris, Chris Shelton, Russ Adams
    .
    .
    I’m sure things will only improve when they can get rid of pesky underachievers players like David Wright and Jose Reyes so that the new “True” Mets can take over on the field.

    • chrisny3 - Apr 8, 2011 at 2:11 PM

      LOL, I never said the Mets were in “fantastic” financial shape — or anything remotely close to that.

      Your making strawman arguments shows how desperate you are. You don’t even make sense.

      • paperlions - Apr 8, 2011 at 2:55 PM

        Except, of course, I am not the one that is desperate or that appears desperate to convince people with my arguments. I have no stake in the Mets, and my opinions have been shaped by the weight of available information, much of which has come directly from the Wilpons.
        .
        My sarcastic comment was designed to show exactly how silly your comments look to people that are not biased on this issue.
        .
        And what is with signing in repeatedly to cast multiple votes on posts? We already know that no one is giving you a thumbs up but yourself because no one here agrees with your stances on this issue.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 8, 2011 at 3:09 PM

        I think chrisny3 and purdueman are the same poster, with different handles to troll different issues.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 8, 2011 at 3:32 PM

        paperlions, if you are not desperate, why do you keep replying to my posts? Why do you keep commenting about a team for which you are not a fan? Why are you making strawman arguments? That don’t even make sense?

        Call me desperate if it fits your agenda, but I am not at all. Anyone can take my opinions or leave them. At least I am not the one that makes up strawman arguments. You do.

        And you’d be surprised at the number of people who do agree with my opinions. OTOH, I notice on a lot of posts that you comment on which have nothing to do with the Mets that you often get a lot of thumbs down. And what’s this about signing in multiple times to vote multiple times? I gather you speak from experience.

      • cur68 - Apr 9, 2011 at 12:24 AM

        chrisny3; lions & I have been on the opposite side of exchanges numerous times. I’ve never noticed him getting any more love with stupid +/- thumb thing than me. Actually the whole debate (flaming argument) will go right along with no thumb hits at all. I think he couldn’t be bothered. Then there’s you. It doesn’t matter who you’re up against; you out +thumb up to a half dozen people against just you. I think he nailed you cold. And FYI that thumb business is beneath me; I never touch them so I’ll expect about a dozen – thumbs against 0 + for my little post here. Log away.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 9, 2011 at 8:32 AM

        cur68, LOL, how pathetic you and paperlions are. Just because some of my views are more popular than yours you have to make excuses and accuse others of voting fraud. One, I have a lot of friends I work with who happen to agree with me. Two, I have seen other comments of paperlions — on topics I never post on — which often have tons of negative votes. Tons. So this idea that he doesn’t get negative votes from elsewhere is unfounded. And, it really makes me wonder who is giving him the positive votes?? Apparently, he is accustomed to rigging the system. He speaks out of practice. So point your fingers his way.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 9, 2011 at 9:24 AM

        As for Kevin S., another big LOL. When you have to attack someone with strawman arguments or juvenile personal insults or need to make up wild accusations like voting fraud and multiple IDs … then you’ve admitted you’ve lost. You can’t stick to the points of the discussion because you’ve run out of logic. Pretty sad.

      • paperlions - Apr 9, 2011 at 9:50 AM

        I don’t “thumb up” my own posts; I masturbate in private, as god intended.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 9, 2011 at 10:29 AM

        And the way you’re obsessed with these stories, I bet you masturbate while fantasizing about Picard and financial ruin to the Wilpons. Whatever floats your boat.

      • paperlions - Apr 10, 2011 at 10:20 AM

        Atta boy, get personal when you are losing an argument. The only reason I continue to comment, is to bring balance and a fact-based perspective to the comments section. I am unnaturally concerned with the truth, honesty, and facts.
        .
        As you will find through life, if two parties are in a dispute, the one that has the most to gain/lose is the one that is most prone to distort the fact or just flat out lie. In this discussion, I have nothing to gain or lose, just an interest in the accuracy of comments/reporting.

      • chrisny3 - Apr 11, 2011 at 3:41 PM

        And you were the first to get personal, as well as the only one to make strawman arguments. So you admitted you were losing the argument way before this.

        LOL, at your contention that you bring balance to the comments section. Especially on this topic where you have been prone to erroneous statements and making up of strawman arguments. The very antithesis of balance.

        And it is only out of interest for the unvarnished truth that I post here.

        As you will find through life, if two parties are in a dispute, the one that has the most to gain/lose is the one that is most prone to distort the fact or just flat out lie. In this discussion, I have nothing to gain or lose, just an interest in the accuracy of comments/reporting.

        One, I don’t think distortion of the facts necessarily has anything to do with what one has to gain or lose. Some people are just more prone to lying or distorting the facts. Two, if you have nothing to gain or lose in this, you sure are fooling people. You’re obviously obsessed about this topic, despite your not being a Mets fan. And you’re very prone to distorting the facts and strawman arguments. You have a problem.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Cubs shore up rotation with Jon Lester
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. W. Myers (2235)
  2. D. Ross (2143)
  3. J. Kang (2089)
  4. C. Gonzalez (2036)
  5. J. Shields (1927)
  1. M. Scutaro (1907)
  2. J. Grilli (1899)
  3. D. Haren (1851)
  4. T. Tulowitzki (1806)
  5. S. Smith (1754)