The Mets’ owners appear to be on the verge of finally putting the team’s financial problems behind them, according to a report in the New York Post.
Cash-strapped Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, who faced perhaps an insurmountable spring principal payment on their $250 million loan, are close to refinancing the note, sources said.
“This will be oversubscribed,” a source considering investing in the Bank of America refinancing said.
The re-fi — the biggest off-field hurdle the team faced this off-season — will likely close in February or March, the source said. Until recently, it wasn’t certain investors weren’t going to insist the team owners pay down some of the loan to get the refinancing done.
Wilpon and Katz will not be asked for any cash paydown, sources said.
Plus, interest payments are expected to stay about the same, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said.
The beat goes on for Fred, Jeff and Saul. As I’ve been saying for five years now, they are not going anywhere. The lenders will do what they can to prevent them from defaulting because it is in their best interest to do so.
The legal language of this report, assuming its veracity, is that it is not restrictive pertaining to payroll or how much the Mets could spend on players.
However, keep in mind that the current payroll which is now at about $86.25 million, is still far short of the 2013 Opening Day payroll figure which stood at $93.2 million. So for all the talk of spending, all we really did this offseason was reallocate what money we already had committed to the team the previous year. We have not yet increased payroll one dollar with 18 days to go until the start of spring training.
This news has certainly saved the Wilpons’, but whether this benefits the team or not remains to be seen.
(Updated 4:00 PM)