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Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over

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Posted: 2/13/2013 4:29 PM

Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 


PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- New York Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon said his family is free and clear of past financial woes and that general manager Sandy Alderson has the financial flexibility to make major free-agent signings in upcoming offseasons.

Wilpon, 76, favorably settled a lawsuit brought by the trustee trying to recover funds for victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme last year.

Fred Wilpon
Adam Rubin/ESPN Fred Wilpon said of the financial troubles that have plagued the Mets over the past few seasons: "It's all in the rearview mirror."

He added that the family's improved financial complexion also is the result of the rebound of real estate, his primary business, as well as stock-market gains and the thriving of SportsNet New York, the television network in which the family owns a majority stake.

"It's all in the rearview mirror," Wilpon said about past financial woes Wednesday after arriving at the team's spring training complex. "... The family is in great shape. The family really is in great shape. Sometimes luck is the residue of design."

Wilpon originally faced a $1 billion lawsuit regarding the Madoff scheme, but the settlement will result in the family ultimately having to pay no more than $60 million.

Wilpon said the payroll, slashed in recent seasons under Alderson, could return to past levels if the team is prudent.  The payroll went from a high of $148 million late in Omar Minaya's tenure as general manager to roughly $95 million last year.

Wilpon pointed to bank debt as a primary reason for an un-New York-like payroll in recent years. The Mets have produced four straight losing seasons and have not reached the postseason since 2006.

"It wasn't, as people have written, the reason," Wilpon said about the Madoff issue and payroll slashing. "It was a balance there, because we had to make sure the banks got paid off all of the debt. There's no one in my family -- there's the Katz family, the Wilpon family, kids -- [that now] has any personal bank debt. Zero. Everything has been paid. We don't owe a dollar to anybody. We have mortgages on buildings and stuff like that, but we don't owe a dollar.

On other topics:

• Wilpon said his expectations for the 2013 Mets do not match outside pessimism.

"This team looks like basically a young team with some veterans, and hungry," Wilpon said. "I think Sandy and the staff did a terrific job of getting some real good prospects for the bullpen. ... I'm hopeful and optimistic. The hunger is throughout. And I think we have really good arms. You look at our pitching staff and, on paper, you've got to say they really have a good chance of producing W's. Any of the teams that have surprised people, whether it's Oakland last year -- just go through the last 10 years -- it's pitching that brings it up to that level. So I'm very encouraged about that."

• The Mets do not plan to discuss extending manager Terry Collins' contract until the end of the season, when it is due to expire.

"He's done an excellent job in all respects," Wilpon said. "He handles the public relations side very well. He's honest. You guys believe him. ... I think he knows talent. We will evaluate Terry at the end of the year, not only from where the club lands, but what his overall job was."

• David Wright could be a Met for life. Wright signed an eight-year, $138 million extension in December.

"David is a unique player. He's an All-Star," Wilpon said. "I think David is an All-Star in all things. He's a great person. To me, he's our [Derek] Jeter. And I think you need a core. I don't want to put it all on his shoulders. But he gets it. As far as I was concerned, he was not going anywhere."

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Posted: 2/13/2013 4:34 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 


That's what I wanted to hear!

"Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women and Irish Whiskey. The other ten percent I'll probably waste." - Tug McGraw

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Posted: 2/13/2013 4:34 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 


so basically, let me get this straight Fred, you denied having Money woes for years and suddenly you are admitting that something you said you did not have is behind you?  ohlord

still far too trust in my book


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Posted: 2/13/2013 4:36 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 


I dont believe him either.


Actions speak louder then words.   Coming in 2nd for FA's doesnt count for anything.
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Posted: 2/13/2013 4:45 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 



oct271986 wrote: I dont believe him either.


Actions speak louder then words.   Coming in 2nd for FA's doesnt count for anything.
yeah, we should prob get used to offering just enough on players to lose out... shows plenty of effort. biggrin
"Maybe it's time to make some moves."  - Sandy Alderson
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Posted: 2/13/2013 4:57 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 


So, on a cash basis Mets payroll is in the low 70Ms for 2013 due to deferrals of money owed Bay and the backloading of Wright's deal.  At 70M-ish the Mets effectively have a lower payroll than all but the smallest of small market teams.  Essentially they manuevered to minimize payments in 2013 AND didn't seriously pursue anyone who would cost them any real money.  We basically have a AAA quality OF, all of whom are making the major league minimum.  And yet I am to believe that the Wilpons money problems are in the rear view mirror?  ...I guess that means that their money problems must have just been solved today!  Congrats Fred!  That's terrific news!

Forgive me for not believing a single syllable of it.
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Posted: 2/13/2013 5:08 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 


Well, it sounded like they were willing to go two years on Cody Ross and Ryan Ludwick...but they lost out on those guys.  Can't blame them for not going three or messing with the market and paying more than they wanted per season.  I think Sandy is very cognizant of not being the guy who sets the market to an absurd level...I don't think that comes down from Wilpon.  Who else could they have had in the OF for 1 year or for a well-deserved two year deal?  No way they were going three years on the level of talent that was out there.  I guess you can say they should have gone after Josh Hamilton, but most posters here were against it anyway.  They have been pretty clear about their intention to not dedicate too much of their payroll to one or only a few guys.  Again, I don't think Wilpon knows about that kind of philosophy...that comes down from Sandy and his people.
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Posted: 2/13/2013 5:13 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 



MetsBeast wrote: Well, it sounded like they were willing to go two years on Cody Ross and Ryan Ludwick...but they lost out on those guys.  Can't blame them for not going three or messing with the market and paying more than they wanted per season.  I think Sandy is very cognizant of not being the guy who sets the market to an absurd level...I don't think that comes down from Wilpon.  Who else could they have had in the OF for 1 year or for a well-deserved two year deal?  No way they were going three years on the level of talent that was out there.  I guess you can say they should have gone after Josh Hamilton, but most posters here were against it anyway.  They have been pretty clear about their intention to not dedicate too much of their payroll to one or only a few guys.  Again, I don't think Wilpon knows about that kind of philosophy...that comes down from Sandy and his people.
I think they are learning the lesson that you often need to be out in front of the market in order to get players you want in free agency.  If you're not willing to do that, then you're not going to be real players for the best talent.  

as far as this off-season, I always thought they should have been more aggressive in the trade market.  Tho I don't love him, I would have been a little more aggressive on Chris Young tho I never thought the Mets matched up well with AZ.
"Maybe it's time to make some moves."  - Sandy Alderson
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Posted: 2/13/2013 5:38 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 



xmulderx wrote: so basically, let me get this straight Fred, you denied having Money woes for years and suddenly you are admitting that something you said you did not have is behind you?  ohlord

still far too trust in my book

Agreed. Talk is cheap until they spend money. If there is no money issue here, then why, when you have the worst OF in the majors, was 2yr /$5 million too rich for Hairston? Granted he's not the best talent, but he hit 20 Hrs playing in Citifield and he is still better than everyone they have.
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Posted: 2/13/2013 5:40 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 



MookieLJL wrote: So, on a cash basis Mets payroll is in the low 70Ms for 2013 due to deferrals of money owed Bay and the backloading of Wright's deal.  At 70M-ish the Mets effectively have a lower payroll than all but the smallest of small market teams.  Essentially they manuevered to minimize payments in 2013 AND didn't seriously pursue anyone who would cost them any real money.  We basically have a AAA quality OF, all of whom are making the major league minimum.  And yet I am to believe that the Wilpons money problems are in the rear view mirror?  ...I guess that means that their money problems must have just been solved today!  Congrats Fred!  That's terrific news!

Forgive me for not believing a single syllable of it.

What's the line about how do you know a lawyer is lying? His lips are moving?
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Posted: 2/13/2013 5:52 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 



MookieLJL wrote: So, on a cash basis Mets payroll is in the low 70Ms for 2013 due to deferrals of money owed Bay and the backloading of Wright's deal.  At 70M-ish the Mets effectively have a lower payroll than all but the smallest of small market teams.  Essentially they manuevered to minimize payments in 2013 AND didn't seriously pursue anyone who would cost them any real money.  We basically have a AAA quality OF, all of whom are making the major league minimum.  And yet I am to believe that the Wilpons money problems are in the rear view mirror?  ...I guess that means that their money problems must have just been solved today!  Congrats Fred!  That's terrific news!

Forgive me for not believing a single syllable of it.
Oh come on, there wasn't a single free agent in this class that was worth spending significant money on, and you know it.  The only one possibly close was Bourn and the draft pick was clearly one SA was hesitant to give up for Bourn.  Yes, our OF needs upgrading, but overspending to get a guy who is better, but not really good  --  that's not the way to build this team.  I don't know the Wilpons' financial situation any better than you do, but to say you don't believe it because they didn't spend any real money on free agents this year, that's just not recognizing what was out there.
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Posted: 2/13/2013 5:56 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 



danfran wrote:
xmulderx wrote: so basically, let me get this straight Fred, you denied having Money woes for years and suddenly you are admitting that something you said you did not have is behind you?  ohlord

still far too trust in my book

Agreed. Talk is cheap until they spend money. If there is no money issue here, then why, when you have the worst OF in the majors, was 2yr /$5 million too rich for Hairston? Granted he's not the best talent, but he hit 20 Hrs playing in Citifield and he is still better than everyone they have.
If you saw the Sandy interview stuff in another thread, then you saw that he said that the money wasn't the issue with Hairston, it was that they thought they might have a shot at swinging a deal for J. Upton, in which case they wouldn't be able to promise Hairston the playing time he wanted.  SH signed the day before the Upton trade went down, and SA did suggest that they might have made a mistake in holding off on SH because of the Upton possibility.
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Posted: 2/13/2013 6:01 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 



ReallyBigFan wrote:
MookieLJL wrote: So, on a cash basis Mets payroll is in the low 70Ms for 2013 due to deferrals of money owed Bay and the backloading of Wright's deal.  At 70M-ish the Mets effectively have a lower payroll than all but the smallest of small market teams.  Essentially they manuevered to minimize payments in 2013 AND didn't seriously pursue anyone who would cost them any real money.  We basically have a AAA quality OF, all of whom are making the major league minimum.  And yet I am to believe that the Wilpons money problems are in the rear view mirror?  ...I guess that means that their money problems must have just been solved today!  Congrats Fred!  That's terrific news!

Forgive me for not believing a single syllable of it.
Oh come on, there wasn't a single free agent in this class that was worth spending significant money on, and you know it.  The only one possibly close was Bourn and the draft pick was clearly one SA was hesitant to give up for Bourn.  Yes, our OF needs upgrading, but overspending to get a guy who is better, but not really good  --  that's not the way to build this team.  I don't know the Wilpons' financial situation any better than you do, but to say you don't believe it because they didn't spend any real money on free agents this year, that's just not recognizing what was out there.
well, you might be an advocate of this type of building process but some people believe in incremental improvements.  there is more than one right way to go about the process and come out with a winning product.
"Maybe it's time to make some moves."  - Sandy Alderson
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Posted: 2/13/2013 7:35 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 


Wilpon's assertions in no way square with the borrowing against the future with the significant Bay and Wright deferrments.  He simply has no currency on this issue (no pun intened) until he proves otherwise with something besides words.

Eagles/Indiana/Mets/Villanova: it's a long story

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Posted: 2/13/2013 7:36 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 


The excuse factory is working double shifts but I'm not buying the product they're producing.
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Posted: 2/13/2013 7:52 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 



ReallyBigFan wrote:
danfran wrote:
xmulderx wrote: so basically, let me get this straight Fred, you denied having Money woes for years and suddenly you are admitting that something you said you did not have is behind you?  ohlord

still far too trust in my book

Agreed. Talk is cheap until they spend money. If there is no money issue here, then why, when you have the worst OF in the majors, was 2yr /$5 million too rich for Hairston? Granted he's not the best talent, but he hit 20 Hrs playing in Citifield and he is still better than everyone they have.
If you saw the Sandy interview stuff in another thread, then you saw that he said that the money wasn't the issue with Hairston, it was that they thought they might have a shot at swinging a deal for J. Upton, in which case they wouldn't be able to promise Hairston the playing time he wanted.  SH signed the day before the Upton trade went down, and SA did suggest that they might have made a mistake in holding off on SH because of the Upton possibility.

The point doesn't hold water. Was he saying with Upton here, Hairston wouldn't have had a fair shot at beating out Duda in left? He probably would have won that job anyway, considering Duda's butchery in the OF.
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:09 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 



ReallyBigFan wrote:
MookieLJL wrote: So, on a cash basis Mets payroll is in the low 70Ms for 2013 due to deferrals of money owed Bay and the backloading of Wright's deal.  At 70M-ish the Mets effectively have a lower payroll than all but the smallest of small market teams.  Essentially they manuevered to minimize payments in 2013 AND didn't seriously pursue anyone who would cost them any real money.  We basically have a AAA quality OF, all of whom are making the major league minimum.  And yet I am to believe that the Wilpons money problems are in the rear view mirror?  ...I guess that means that their money problems must have just been solved today!  Congrats Fred!  That's terrific news!

Forgive me for not believing a single syllable of it.
Oh come on, there wasn't a single free agent in this class that was worth spending significant money on, and you know it.  The only one possibly close was Bourn and the draft pick was clearly one SA was hesitant to give up for Bourn.  Yes, our OF needs upgrading, but overspending to get a guy who is better, but not really good  --  that's not the way to build this team.  I don't know the Wilpons' financial situation any better than you do, but to say you don't believe it because they didn't spend any real money on free agents this year, that's just not recognizing what was out there.

Bingo.

I'm also interested to see where that $70M figure is coming from.

I'm by no means a Wilpon apologist, but I'm not going to bash ownership or the FO for holding the line on certain players in FO.  If that means "not getting out in front" on FA negotiations then so be it.  We've played the get out in front game in the past and failed miserably at it.  What I care about is sound decision-making.  That's been demonstrated to a T this off-season, despite the fact that evidently there was money to spend.

This idea that teams have to blow money because they have it goes against pretty much all sound logic.
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:12 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 



danfran wrote:
ReallyBigFan wrote:
danfran wrote:
xmulderx wrote: so basically, let me get this straight Fred, you denied having Money woes for years and suddenly you are admitting that something you said you did not have is behind you?  ohlord

still far too trust in my book

Agreed. Talk is cheap until they spend money. If there is no money issue here, then why, when you have the worst OF in the majors, was 2yr /$5 million too rich for Hairston? Granted he's not the best talent, but he hit 20 Hrs playing in Citifield and he is still better than everyone they have.
If you saw the Sandy interview stuff in another thread, then you saw that he said that the money wasn't the issue with Hairston, it was that they thought they might have a shot at swinging a deal for J. Upton, in which case they wouldn't be able to promise Hairston the playing time he wanted.  SH signed the day before the Upton trade went down, and SA did suggest that they might have made a mistake in holding off on SH because of the Upton possibility.

The point doesn't hold water. Was he saying with Upton here, Hairston wouldn't have had a fair shot at beating out Duda in left? He probably would have won that job anyway, considering Duda's butchery in the OF.

Sandy was bashed by fans for bringing Hairston back last season.  Everyone thought he was garbage.  Now suddenly the career-long platoon/bench player is a viable starting OFer?  Based on what?  Guy had a .300 OBP last season and wasn't worth a two-year extension.

I'll bet anything a platoon of Baxter and Brown outproduces Hairston this season and that by the end of they year we'll be talking about how we dodged a bullet not extending him.  Those claiming they supported signing him won't be saying a word then I'm sure.
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:17 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 


Not sure the interview was posted:

http://web.sny.tv/media/video....&source=SNY
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:20 PM

Re: Fred Wilpon--Mets' money woes are over 



DocK16 wrote:
ReallyBigFan wrote:
MookieLJL wrote: So, on a cash basis Mets payroll is in the low 70Ms for 2013 due to deferrals of money owed Bay and the backloading of Wright's deal.  At 70M-ish the Mets effectively have a lower payroll than all but the smallest of small market teams.  Essentially they manuevered to minimize payments in 2013 AND didn't seriously pursue anyone who would cost them any real money.  We basically have a AAA quality OF, all of whom are making the major league minimum.  And yet I am to believe that the Wilpons money problems are in the rear view mirror?  ...I guess that means that their money problems must have just been solved today!  Congrats Fred!  That's terrific news!

Forgive me for not believing a single syllable of it.
Oh come on, there wasn't a single free agent in this class that was worth spending significant money on, and you know it. 

Bingo.



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