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Big League Stew

David Einhorn could buy a majority of the Mets for just $1

Big League Stew

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Why is this man smiling?

It's probably because David Einhorn knows just how good of a deal he's getting as a result of the Wilpon family's desperate thirst for cold, hard cash.

Forbes.com reported Wednesday morning that the hedge fund manager's agreement to buy a minority slice (33 percent) of the New York Mets for $200 million is even better than previously thought.

In three years, Einhorn can buy a controlling interest in the team from the Wilpons — a reported 60 percent — for just one measly dollar.

The only way that doesn't happen is if Fred Wilpon returns the $200 million that Einhorn is laying out so the Mets can pay some of their bills. Under that scenario, Einhorn would keep a 16 percent stake in the team as a lender's fee.

Not bad.

No matter which way this deal goes, though, it's going to be interesting to watch. The Wilpons are basically making a huge wager that their financial standing will be a lot better in three years and that they'll be able to obtain a $200 million loan at more reasonable rates so they can pay Einhorn off. But with the team on pace to lose $70 million in 2011, it's hard to conceive how the Madoff-muddled Wilpons will be in such a position just three years from now. If the turnaround doesn't happen, Einhorn is going to get control of his favorite team — plus all of its assorted debt — for the price of a McDouble.

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