PHOENIX -- Baseball commissioner Bud Selig confirmed Tuesday he has cleared hedge fund mogul David Einhorn to purchase a share of the Mets.

"Once the financial deal is done, yes," Selig said at a Baseball Writers' Association of America meeting before the All-Star Game. "He played baseball in my backyard. How can I turn him down?"

Einhorn spent part of his formative years in Milwaukee, and his best friend lived next door to the Seligs.

Asked if he recalled Einhorn, Selig said, "I do not. I do not. Apparently he couldn't hit, but don't tell him I said that."

Einhorn and the Mets are working on a deal that would call for him to pay $200 million for a minority share in the team. The deal would allow Einhorn to take full control of the club if the Wilpons can't repay the $200 million, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. If the Wilpons can pay him back, he would retain his initial share, the person said.

Given that structure, Selig was asked if he was troubled by the "loan" design of the deal.

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"It isn't a loan, in the true sense of a loan," Selig said.

"No, I'm not concerned. It's a very good deal for the Mets."

Selig was asked if he thought the Mets would be on sound footing once the Einhorn deal was done. Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz are being sued for $1 billion by Bernard Madoff trustee Irving Picard. He has accused Wilpon and Katz, who invested with Madoff, of ignoring warning signs that Madoff was involved in illicit activities. Wilpon and Katz have denied wrongdoing.

"Nobody can make that judgment," he said. "Irving Picard will have to make that judgment. I hope with some interest there's been some movement in the right direction in that area. But I think that once this deal's done, I think the Mets, for the foreseeable future, will be fine."