Giants must replace Posey (cont.)
David Einhorn's $200-million deal to become a limited partner with the Mets is expected to give him about 30 percent of the team once all the final details are negotiated, say people familiar with the deal. Einhorn is also expected to receive some say in the major decisions of the team (though not control -- i.e., the final call) and also importantly, he will hold the option to buy the team should the Wilpons' money issues cost them the team. All the bidders were insisting on the first right to buy the team should the Wilpons lose the financial wherewithal to retain majority holdings.
Einhorn, only 42, is a hedge-fund titan who correctly predicted the demise of Lehman Brothers and someone who once finished 18th in the World Series of poker. In the conference call, Einhorn spoke hopefully about improvement in the Mets "over time,'' but didn't promise any quick fixes. He also had great praise for Mets GM Sandy Alderson. But Einhorn is no wilting flower: The day before his Mets deal was announced, he called for the ouster of Microsoft president Steve Ballmer. Word is, his spotless reputation and deep pockets (his reported worth is $2.5 billion) should mean he'll easily win MLB approval.
Through the negotiations, it appears that the valuation of the Mets will be north of $1 billion, according to people familiar with the talks. The reason Einhorn won't be paying at that rate is that he doesn't have a controlling stake.
Fred Wilpon's comment in Tom Verducci's article in Sports Illustrated that Bobby Valentine was one of his very best hires was interesting in that Wilpon has thus far refused to entertain a Valentine return in Queens.
Mike Pelfrey's quip following The New Yorker article with Fred Wilpon's less-than-glowing comments about Jose Reyes, David Wright and Carlos Beltran that perhaps Wilpon should sit in on media training with the players drew mixed response from around baseball. "He's still the owner. And by all accounts he treats people well and fairly. Show some respect,'' one competing GM said.
Meanwhile, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt continues to be a thorn in MLB's side. He has said he'll be able to make the next payroll, but it seems like every pay period will be a major question now. "He should get out. He has to know the end is near,'' said one L.A. lawyer familiar with his case.
While there's speculation that the Dodgers won't be able to keep both Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier longterm since the owner has steep financial difficulties and both players' contracts expire after next season, one person familiar with the situation said the Dodgers "have put out no calls and received no calls'' about either outfielder. It is believed Dodgers baseball people would love to lock up both Kemp and Ethier longterm. A new owner could help there.
Executives say Dodgers first baseman James Loney is a likely non-tender candidate as his power has not yet developed as hoped.
The Rangers are looking or a reliever, particularly a righthanded one. Word is, they will consider the Mets' Francisco Rodriguez, who has said he's wiling to go elsewhere as a set-up man under the right circumstances (his no-trade list counts 10 teams).
The Yankees are concerned about Robinson Cano, who is hitting .279 and has made five errors as he's shown signs of reverting to careless defensive play.
Andruw Jones has won admiration for hard work as a Yankee. So did Eric Chavez before he went on the disabled list. The Yankees have done very well with their cost-efficient veteran pickups, also counting Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia.
The Yankees don't seem concerned about MLB's investigation into the procedure Colon underwent on his elbow. The doctor involved welcomed the investigation, and it would seem to be a long shot that anything untoward, such as HGH, would be found and proved.
R.A. Dickey was walking with a boot and crutch according to New York reports after he was helped off the field after suffering a heel injury while covering first base. The Mets' slim starting pitching depth will be further tested.
The Cubs will not pick up Aramis' Ramirez's $16 million option (it can also vest if he's the league or LCS MVP). Perhaps a fresh start next year would be best for the talented A-Ram, who has just one home run, though he admitted a hamstring problem has been bothering him.
Carlos Zambrano was only throwing in the upper 80s in beating the Mets and the Cubs acknowledged what they call a very minor ne. But if the Cubs don't get back into the race, he'd seem like a candidate for a trade-deadline deal. The Yankees have had interest in the past.
With all the coverage about Buster Posey, it's almost gone unnoticed that their NL West rival Rockies suffered a hug blow themselves when starter Jorge De La Rosa went down with a tear in his elbow.
The Braves could use another offensive player (of Jordan Schafer, who is in for injured Nate McLouth, one scout said, "he can't hit''), and specifically they could use an outfielder, especially one who can lead off.
It needs to be noted here that the DUI charge against Derek Lowe was dismissed for lack for evidence after a review of the tape suggested he did exceedingly well on the field sobriety test. My question would be: Why was he arrested in the first place?
The temptation is to feel sympathy for the Blue Jays' Jo-Jo Reyes, who tied the big-league record with his 28th consecutive start without a victory. But the teams deserve credit (or is it discredit?) or sticking with him.
The Blue Jays and Indians showed some mild interest in Jose Lopez this winter. Lopez was designated for assignment by the Rockies Thursday.
Carl Crawford seems to have found his comfort zone, with eight hits in his last nine at-bats. The Red Sox look awfully dangerous right now.
Russell Branyan is a nice pickup or the Angels, who are in need of offense. The loss of the improving Howard Kendrick to the disabled list hurts them.
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