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Are the Mets in bigger financial trouble than we assumed?

Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon

New York Mets owner and CEO Fred Wilpon, right, and COO Jeff Wilpon speak to the media during a news conference on Monday, Oct. 4, 2010, at Citi Field in New York. The New York Mets fired manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya on Monday, an expected shake-up of the big-spending ballclub after its second straight losing season. The Mets said a search is under way for a new GM, who will work with the team to hire a new manager. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

AP

I don’t pretend to understand high finance that well -- and I tend not to get my business news from the New York Post -- so someone who knows more about this stuff than me tell if this is really a bad sign or if it’s much ado about nothing:

Banks that provided roughly $400 million in loans to the New York Mets are starting to unload some of that debt at a discount, a sign that creditors are getting nervous about the team’s finances, The Post has learned.

Potential buyers are bidding around 90 cents on the dollar for the debt, sources said. At least one creditor has bought a debt slice at a discount with the approval of Major League Baseball, which must sign off on any buyer of the team’s loans, said one source.

“This tells me the original lenders are scared,” a source close to the situation said.


Is it possible that lenders -- freaked out about their returns -- could start to panic and a chain reaction could happen that would force the Mets into bankruptcy like the Rangers were? I’m not trying to be alarmist here: unlike Tom Hicks, who had been in the papers for silly finances for some time before the Rangers went into bankruptcy, I really don’t know enough about the Mets’ situation to say anything too intelligent yet. I’m really curious to know.

For now, though, I can at least say that that stuff doesn’t sound good.