Forbes 2012 MLB Team Valuations

Mets Logo
Mets Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This year Forbes has the Mets down 4% to $719 million in value, just behind the Phillies at $723 million. The Mets and the Rays are the only teams to lose value since last year, mostly due to the Mets massive operating loss of $40.8 million. Only three teams had operating losses (Phillies and Angels were the others) and neither were anywhere close to the Mets loss.

The Mets are now MLB’s sixth most valuable franchise far behind the Yankees in the top spot valued at over a billion dollars MORE than the Mets. It’s incredible how much more valuable the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers are than the Mets. All are listed at or over $1 billion.

It’s likely going to take years for the Mets to gain value back and it’ll have to be done on the field. Most experts (and sane people everywhere) are predicting the Mets will finish at or near the bottom of the NL East this season. Based on the current roster, I agree with that opinion.

The Wilpon/Katz ownership group may have settled the Madoff lawsuit and put that financial problem behind them. But the value of their team is sinking and likely won’t increase this year unless there are some miraculous occurances on the field. Maybe the Jets can loan Tim Tebow to the Mets until the NFL season starts.

Mets Owners Lose Summary Judgement in Madoff Case

English: Bernard Madoff's mugshot
Image via Wikipedia

The Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz were dealt a huge blow today in a New York court. The judge in the Madoff case against Wilpon and Katz agreed with the Madoff trustee and issued a partial summary judgement against the Mets owners. The judgement is for up to $83 million with the exact amount to be determined in the near future.

A trial will begin on March 19th if there isn’t a settlement before then. The trial will be over an additional $303 million that the trustee is going after based on his contention that the Mets owners willfully ignored information indicating that Madoff was running a shady operation.

There’s been a lot of speculation about whether Wilpon and Katz will be able to withstand this judgement and trial to hold onto ownership of the Mets. They’ve been cutting spending on the team drastically in an attempt to align spending with revenue in the last two years. Some might speculate that they’re reducing spending to stockpile cash in case of a negative outcome of the trial. Well, that first negative outcome happened today.

It’ll be interesting to see if there’s a settlement in the next couple of weeks or if this case goes to trial. Either way, I think Wilpon and Katz are on the run and trying to keep ownership of the Mets in any way possible. But it might not be enough. And that would probably be a good thing for fans at this point.

2012 Mets Spring Training Fred Wilpon Press Conference

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 17: Owner Fred W...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Mets owner Fred Wilpon gave his annual state of the team press conference on the first day of full squad workouts today. It was more of the same spin that we’ve heard in recent years from Fred about the team’s woeful financial situation. Although he did attempt to deflect the reason for the team’s $52 million payroll reduction to Sandy Alderson’s philosophy. That was so laughable that he later admitted that Alderson had a set payroll that he had to work within.

The highlights of the press conference were:

  • The Wilpons don’t intend to give up control of the team, if possible
  • The team has sold 7 shares of ownership although all but one were bought by entities with connections to the team already
  • He admitted that the Madoff lawsuit was having an effect on team finances contrary to his prior statements on the topic
  • He’s excited about the group of young players on the team

There isn’t much new there that we didn’t already know. Wilpon has been in near seclusion as the team has sunk deeper into the financial abyss. He typically leaves Alderson or his son, Jeff, to deal with the tough questions from the media. So today was a rare opportunity to hear the state of affairs directly from the horses mouth.

Mets Players get Underdog Shirts

The Mets arrived at Port St. Lucie today to some silly Underdog t-shirts that Jeff Wilpon had made. Apparently, it’s a misguided attempt to motivate the players with an “us against the world” mentality. It’s extremely childish for a guy that considers himself an “executive”.

Here’s a pic of the t-shirts. What do you think? Would that make you motivated?

Mets Alderson Takes on Jose Reyes on Twitter

Sandy Alderson was at it again yesterday on Twitter. This time the target of his comedy stylings was Jose Reyes and the MLB Network.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/MetsGM/status/168505233637507072″%5D

So far he’s gone after the Wilpons financial situation and the chop shops across the street from Citi Field. I wish he’d gone after Reyes in free agency as well as he is on Twitter.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson on Twitter

Sandy Alderson
Image via Wikipedia

Follow Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson on Twitter. He just started a new account yesterday and has two tweets about his drive to Port St. Lucie. And he gained nearly 10,000 followers in the first day that he joined.

The big news is that he’s cracking jokes about needing gas money for the drive to PSL. I’m not sure that jokes about needing funds is what the Mets would like to see from him with the Madoff trial scheduled to begin next month.

Alderson is a smart guy. I would guess that he’ll stay away from comments like that in the future and stick to tweets that are more closely aligned with what the organization would like to see him publicizing.

Citi Field Debt Downgraded to Negative

English: New York Mets inaugural season patch ...
Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services downgraded the nearly $700 million in debt against Citi Field to negative. That means that they’re reducing the debt to below investment grade. Forbes details the financial assault that the Mets are facing. The financial prospects for the Mets and Wilpon appear to be getting more dire by the day.

Without Jose Reyes on the roster the team is poised for even lower attendance than the 2011 season. The Mets have also floated the possibility that  Johan Santana may not be healthy and ready for opening day after not throwing a pitch in 2011. Other than David Wright, who is in the final year of his contract (plus a team option for 2013), there isn’t much of a reason to go out the park in 2012.

It’s clear that the rest of the teams in the division have made roster improvements while the Mets have essentially failed to enter the free agent market. For the second offseason in a row, Sandy Alderson was handcuffed by the team’s financial situation. His only contribution to re-making the roster has been to shuffle some players in and out of the bullpen and the bench. The Mets GM job has to be one of the worst in baseball right now.