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Potential B-Mets buyer could keep team local

While there has been no new official statement issued by B-Mets President Mike Urda or anyone else affiliated with the team regarding the lawsuit and pending sale of the team, a sworn declaration filed in federal court presents Urda's side of the negotiations. The bright side of the statement for Binghamton Mets fans is Urda outlining negotiations with a buyer other than Main Street Baseball. Urda says the alternate buyer " appears to be committed to keeping the team in Binghamton."

Urda's statement does not mention the alternate buyer by name, but the original lawsuit filed against Main Street Baseball identifies the alternate buyer as Marvin Goldklang. Goldklang is minority owner of the New York Yankees and Chairman of the Goldklang Group which owns the Fort Myers Miracle (Single-A Adv. of Minnesots Twins), Hudson Valley Renegades (Short Season Single-A of Tampa Bay Rays), Charleston River Dogs (Class A of New York Yankees), St. Paul Saints (Indenpent), and Pittsfield Suns (Future Collegiate Baseball League). Goldklang told Fox 40, he was aware of the case but his name was mistakenly included in the court papers and that he is "absolutely not" the alternate buyer of the B-Mets.

In Urda's statement he outlines the negotiation process with Main Street Baseball. While in the original lawsuit, Main Street's CEO David Heller says it was Urda that let the 60 day no shopping period expire before an Asset Purchase Agreement had been approved, Urda's statement states that it was Heller who waited to draft the agreement, as is the responsibility of the buyer. When that 60-day no shopping period had expired, Urda informed Heller and Main Street Baseball of the termination of negotiations. Urda's reasoning, negotiations had become severely one-sided in favor of Main Street. Finances regarding the profits and losses for the 2015 were a major concern for Urda in the negotiations. Urda says he guaranteed the team would not operate at a loss in 2015, but that Main Street would only agree to be responsible for profits not losses.

In Urda's declaration, he says the lawsuit was filed because of an agreement in place between the Texas Rangers and Main Street Baseball regarding the sale of the Single-A Wilmington Blue Rocks for the purpose of relocating the Double-A Binghamton Mets to Wilmington, and Urda's alleged reneging on the deal affects those plans. But as Urda says, the Letter of Intent expressly mentions "Relocation of the business shall in no way be a condition of the CIT Application or a consideration during the approval process by baseball authorities." Urda also points out that Heller said in an e-mail "We gave you our word that we would not say anything about relocation, and we will absolutely honor that word. Relocation has nothing to do with this sale and we intend to keep it that way." Therefore, Urda calls the lawsuit "meritless" because the sale was not contingent on relocation

Urda also noted that the contents of the Letter of Intent were confidential, yet Main Street Baseball included the full letter in the publicly accessible court documents.

The damage has been done by Main Street Baseball though, Urda says, by filing the lawsuit. He says that the fan base and attendance will be diminished this season because of publicity engendered by the lawsuit. He calls it "particularly inappropriate" because because of the confidentiality of the negotiations and the sale not being contingent on relocation.

He also cites "irreparable harm" done by the temporary court order prohibiting sale of the team regarding the possible sale to the alternate buyer who is "ready, willing, and able" to buy leaving them with only Main Street Baseball with whom to negotiate. Urda says Main Street Baseball "is not willing to agree to usual and customary terms, is insisting on terms that are not acceptable to us, and is potentially financially unable to complete the transaction."

A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in federal court in Utica.

The B-Mets season continues Friday night in Akron after dropping the season opener 14-5 on Thursday.