Commissioner Bud Selig had his scheduled meeting Tuesday with Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon, according to two baseball officials with knowledge of the situation, and the financial state of the team was among the topics discussed. The officials did not provide any details of that late-morning meeting, which was also attended by chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and team president Saul Katz, other than to say it was informal and relatively brief.
Selig and Fred Wilpon are longtime friends, and Wilpon often has sought Selig's input on club-related issues. The commissioner advocated the hiring of general manager Sandy Alderson, a key decision as Alderson seems well equipped to help navigate the team through its current financial crisis. But the Mets' problems at the moment are much more significant than rebuilding a front office.
The Wilpons said Friday that ownership was seeking to sell up to 25 percent of the team in light of recent Madoff-related lawsuits. The total damages from that legal action have yet to be determined, with Madoff trustee Irving Picard reportedly seeking up to $1 billion in "clawbacks" from the Wilpons.
Yesterday's meeting was arranged weeks ago, the officials said, and it was not characterized as some sort of emergency summit as the Wilpons work to maintain their controlling interest in the Mets. But even a partial sale of the team would need the approval of Major League Baseball, and despite the recent emergence of interested buyers, it is unknown if the Wilpons have narrowed the list to serious suitors for a piece of the club.
Selig, who arrived in New York on Monday for other baseball-related business, left in the afternoon.
With Jim Baumbach