Sandy Alderson's comments about the New York Mets not being able to spend during the upcoming offseason did not make much sense. Why, with the impending sale of a minority stake in the team, would Alderson come out at the end of August and say that the Mets would not be big players in the free-agent market this offseason?
The answer to this question has become very clear. Dave Einhorn is not going to be buying a minority stake in the team. The Mets' financial struggles will continue without the infusion of some new capital.
Eihorn wished to get pre-approval from the MLB to become an owner in the league. This move was unprecedented, but Einhorn was doing it to protect his $200 million investment. The Mets actually opposed this provision and it was one of the reasons the deal fell through.
It was not possible for Einhorn to own the team for five years. He would gain control of the team if the Mets did not pay back the $200 million that he had invested.
Some people have already come out and said that this was Dave Einhorn trying to take advantage of the Wilpon's financial situation. Einhorn had a lot more of the Mets' financial information than what was available to the public and he certainly used this information to his advantage to get everything he could out of the deal.
While it may draw ire from some, the true question is why is this wrong? From a business perspective, you try to ensure that you are getting the best possible deal when you leave negotiations. As much as we try to avoid thinking about sports as a business, they absolutely are.
Since Einhorn was about to put down $200 million, he has every right to try to get as much as he can with his money. Einhorn was pushing for a way to become the majority owner of the team. He loves the Mets and he viewed it as a smart investment.
Right now, the Mets are in the same position that they were in a few months ago: low on funds and without a savior in place. The Wilpons are looking to find another $200 million.
Sources are reporting that the stake in the team will be sold in much smaller blocks to family and friends. These deals will take a long time to complete and it puts the Mets in another vulnerable situation.
If fans thought that this season was a struggle, they should look forward to more of the same next year. Without this influx of capital, the Mets will not be able to bring in high-quality free agents. The roster that they currently have is not one that can make the playoffs and without the ability to spend, it will be the same next year.
With this news, the chances that Jose Reyes will not return to the Mets just increased a bit. If the money is not there, they will not be able to bring him back. If the Mets cannot re-sign or replace Reyes, he might not be the only person that does not come back to Citi Field. Some of the fans might stay away as well.