Contradicting a recent report by dogged detractor Howard Megdal claiming the Mets were no closer to finding new silent investors than they were months ago, owner Fred Wilpon told journalists at Port St. Lucie this morning that he’s lined up a number of new passive partners (if you count Jeff Wilpon and SNY), along with claiming, “there shouldn’t be concern about us owning the franchise…As long as I can, I plan to be the owner here.” From the New York Daily News’ Peter Botte :

“When I said two years ago that the Mets weren’t affected by the Madoff thing, I was telling the truth, because we weren’t (being) sued then. This was prior to the (Irving Picard) suit. Did it affect it? Sure,” Wilpon said. “It’s been a motion picture.

“But there was a point when the suit was almost three times what it is now, so it seems to be going hopefully in the right direction.”

Like Reyes last year, David Wright will play this season with an expiring contract and the possibility he will be traded before he hits free agency. Wilpon added that Wright’s situation “is not tied to” the Madoff proceedings.

“My intention is always to follow the baseball people in spite of what you all say that we run the baseball department. Sandy Alderson has a great feel for this, so does Terry, and if it works out, I’ll be thrilled,” Wilpon said. “There’s no finer guy, he’s just a very fine young man…and we’d be proud to have him as a son.”

Wilpon also was asked if the Mets’ finances will affect whether he authorizes Alderson to add payroll if the Mets are in contention.

“I would tell you let’s see how this team plays, and let’s see what we need,” he said, before adding of Alderson, “I don’t think I would’ve chosen anybody (as GM) that would’ve had a different philosophy. I was tired of throwing money at something and not getting the success.”