Multiple outlets have reported that Mets Fred Wilpon and his family have refinanced a $250 million loan against the team. The refinanced loan will not be due for seven years, according to ESPN beat writer Adam Rubin, and the Wilpons will be able to pay around the same interest levels as they did before they refinanced.
Mets fans should take note that unlike the original loan, the refinanced deal contains no restrictions on the team’s payroll. Sandy Alderson should be free to up it from the $87 million it sits at today.
The shadow of Madoff is dead and buried (or at least locked away with him in Butner, NC)! Concerns about the Mets’ dire straits started to fade away this offseason when Sandy Alderson signed Chris Young, Curtis Granderson, and Bartolo Colon to lucrative deals. This announcement officially takes the shackles off Alderson’s checkbook. It’s a thing of beauty.
Now, by no means should Sandy go back to the free-spending ways of the Omar Minaya era. This New York team doesn’t need to go break the break like the Yankees; there isn’t an experienced starting pitcher out there that’s worth $155 million, let alone one who has never thrown a major league pitch. Alderson was brought on to guide the Mets in Moneyball fashion.
That being said, now that Alderson has the keys to a Cadillac, he shouldn’t keep driving this old, broken-down Buick (no matter how convincing Peyton Manning is). He should feel free to throw in a few more (million) dollars to make sure quality free agents don’t end up in some smaller market. When it comes to the immediate future, Sandy should make his first act as a freer general manager to bring Stephen Drew to Citi Field. A three-year deal is excessive, but Scott Boras may be willing to bite the bullet on two years if the money’s good (think Colon good or better).
The days of Amazin’ Austerity are over. The New York Mets are back in big-market business.