Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz are close to refinancing the team's $250MM loan, according to Josh Kosman of the New York Post. Kosman writes that Wilpon and Katz were facing a "perhaps insurmountable" spring principal payment on the loan, but the refinancing of the deal could provide the Mets with significant breathing room to help the team increase payroll in future seasons. There will be no payroll limitations written into the reworked loan, as there were in the previous agreement, Kosman reports.
Wilpon and Katz will not be asked for any cash paydown on the seven-year refinancing, and interest payments are said by Kosman's sources to be staying roughly the same. Mets sources told Kosman that the team's payroll will increase slowly in the coming years, but a return to the peak levels of $140MM isn't likely. The refinancing is likely to close in February or March.
As Kosman writes, this is perhaps the best possible outcome for current ownership but is likely not the news that Mets fans hoping for new ownership (and a subsequent payroll increase) have been waiting to hear.
Despite the previous spending limitations resulting from the old loan, GM Sandy Alderson was able to be fairly aggressive on the open market this season, signing Curtis Granderson ($60MM), Bartolo Colon ($20MM) and Chris Young ($7.25MM) as free agents. Alderson could have increased financial freedom next offseason, but it's also worth noting that the club already has $54MM committed to Granderson, Colon, David Wright and Jonathon Niese in 2015. The Mets will also potentially face arbitration raises for Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Bobby Parnell, Dillon Gee, Eric Young, Ruben Tejada and Scott Rice. Of course, some of those players could be traded or non-tendered between now and next offseason.