To download this (and other) desktop backgrounds, check out my Facebook page here.
According to Martin Zaun of Bloomberg Business Week, Standard and Poor’s has cut it’s outlook on the $695.4 million debt on Citi Field to BB+, a negative grade which is one level below “investment grade.”
According to Zaun, S&P says Citi Field revenue fell 11 percent in 2011 from 2010, and regarding their outlook, S&P said:
“We believe the project faces cash-flow volatility as a large portion of pledged revenues are game-day revenues with less than one-half of the revenues under short- to medium-term contracts. … The key issue looking forward is that any unfavorable change in team financial operations may hurt team performance and reduce turnstile volumes and revenue.”
In a column for FoxSports.com last week, Bob Klapisch says the Wilpons owe $430 million in principal of a loan against the Mets, due in 2014; they owe $450 million in principal of a loan against SNY, due in 2015; and they owe an estimated $600 million, due in $25 million increments every six months, on the ballpark; all of which comes before any money due as a result of the Madoff lawsuit.
Here is the latest hot stove buzz circulating around MLB:
- The Red Sox acquired closer Andrew Bailey from the A’s for Josh Reddick and two prospects.
- The Cubs and Blue Jays are discussing a deal for RHP Matt Garza.
- Tim Lincecum and the Giants are not close to agreeing on a new contract.
- The Yankees signed LHP Hideki Okajima to a minor league contract.
- The Rockies don’t feel Cody Ross is a fit in their outfield right now.
- Prince Fielder is not a candidate for the Nationals.
In a post to his blog Minor League Ball, prospect guru John Sickels lists his Top 10 Mets prospects (and grades) as:
- 1. Matt Harvey, RHP, Grade B+
- 2. Zack Wheeler, RHP, Grade B+
- 3. Jeurys Familia, RHP, Grade B
- 4. Brandon Nimmo, OF, Grade B
- 5. Cesar Puello, OF, Grade B-
- 6. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF, Grade B-
- 7. Jenrry Mejia, RHP, Grade B-
- 8. Reese Havens, 2B, Grade B-
- 9. Wilmer Flores, 3B-SS, Grade B-
- 10. Cory Mazzoni, RHP, Grade C+
According to Sickels, “The Mets farm system has improved and I don’t think it gets enough respect. He says he likes the team’s young pitching, saying, “Harvey, Wheeler, and Familia are three hard-throwing right-handers with the ability to be staff anchors.”
Sickels expects it will be difficult for the Mets to keep from rushing Harvey and Familia to the majors during 2012, “but both will be better-positioned to help in 2013.” He sees Harvey and Wheeler as eventual No. 2 starters and pitchers the Mets can build around, while Familia could be a No. 3 starter or a closer (depending on how he develops his change-up).
Sickels had Harvey in his top 3 last year, while Familia was in the mid teens. Wheeler was with the Giants. So, this year is an improvement. Jenrry Mejia will hopefully be back on the mound at the end of this season, as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery. And so, I’d say by the end of this summer we all will have a real good idea of where this young crop of pitchers will be, all while guys like Cory Mazzoni, Michael Fulmer, and Logan Verrett complete their first full year of professional baseball.
To see John’s list of the top 20 prospect and full commentary for each player, read his entire post for Minor League Ball here.
In a post to Twitter, SS Omar Vizquel said, if offered a contract, he would not be interested in joining the Mets next season.
Vizquel, who will be 45 in April, hit .251 with eight RBI in 58 games for the White Sox last season. In 23 big league seasons, Vizquel is a .272 career hitter with 2841 hits and 402 stolen bases and an 11-time Gold Glove Award winner at shortstop.
The problem with aging veterans to this degree is there can be zero expectations placed with them. The Mets cannot sign someone like Vizquel to a major league deal, and even if he somehow made the team out of camp, he could never be depended upon for any sort of consistent on-field contribution. Right now, the more dependable a player is for the Mets on the diamond, the more valuable he is to them right now.
Here is the latest hot stove buzz circulating around MLB over the last day or so:
- Prince Fielder is not interested in signing a short-term deal.
- The Rockies are interested in SS Ryan Theriot.
- The Yakult Swallows have signed OF Lastings Milledge.
- Carlos Beltran offered to sign with the Yankees for the same deal he recently signed with the Cardinals.
- The Rockies interest in OF Cody Ross depends on their ability to trade OF Seth Smith.
- The Pirates are looking to sign a starting pitcher.