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The Mets Have Hired Turnaround Consultants

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 17: Owner Fred Wilpon (L) and his son Jeff Wilpon of the New York Mets chat during spring training at Tradition Field on February 17, 2011 in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images) Fred 'n' Jeff Wilpon, just hangin' out, sportin' the latest eyewear fashions.

Mets blog Amazin' Avenue reported last night that the Mets have retained CRG Partners, a firm of "turnaround consultants," to aid in their ongoing quest to reorganize ownership of the team. The firm is the same one that guided the Texas Rangers through a bankruptcy sale, and it seems possible that the Mets are considering bankruptcy themselves. The team, however, has publicly characterized the move as one geared toward "services in connection with financial reporting and budgeting processes," and sources inform the Daily News that Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon, and Saul Katz still don't intend to sell the team.

Amazin' Avenue's Eno Sarris explains why there's ample reason for disbelief:

Hiring turnaround consultants doesn't necessarily mean that the team is specifically preparing for bankruptcy and a sale — consultants like these are brought in to figure out how a struggling business can become profitable — but it further underscores the Mets' moribund financial situation. Also, a turnaround company typically gets only a modest fee if it comes in and merely makes recommendations; it has a considerable economic incentive to push for a huge sale when a sizable commission is in the offing.

Paired with the recent report that the Mets are dissolving their Gulf Coast League team in St. Lucie, and the lack of any big-ticket player acquisitions in the offseason, even a casual observer might reasonably conclude that the team is slimming down for a potential sale.

Indeed, the Mets have treaded softly of late, deferring in the Jose Reyes sweepstakes and backing off any major signings thereafter, so there's plenty of fodder for speculation. If the Mets and CRG can't reel minority buyers back in, a bankruptcy sale would seem to be in the offing, though AA notes that it wouldn't be as smooth for the Mets as it was for the Rangers. It'll be interesting to see how the relationship between the Mets and their new allies unfolds.

In the meantime ... Johan Santana should be ready for spring training! Baseball! Yeah!

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Photo: Marc Serota/Getty Images