Saturday, March 24, 2012

Three groups remain in bid to be next Dodgers' owner, plus other news

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported Friday there are three groups left in the Dodgers' ownership race: the Magic Johsnon/Stan Kasten group, the Steve Cohen/Patrick Soon-Shiong group St. Louis Rams' owner Stan Kroenke.

The Cohen group emerged as the favorite on Sunday when Soon-Shiong decided to join Cohen in his attempt to purchase the team.

The dates remain unchanged, as this should all be settled by April 6 at the latest. From Shaikin's article:
"Major League Baseball owners are expected to vote on the three remaining bidders early next week. Final negotiations then would take place with Frank McCourt and Blackstone Advisory Partners, the investment bank brokering the sale.

McCourt has agreed to identify a winning bidder by April 1, although he has until April 6 to present a sale agreement to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court."
The Dodgers are expected to sell for a record price -- somewhere north of $1.5 billion -- but the parking lots and Dodger Stadium itself remain an issue.
"McCourt was offered between $1.3 billion and $1.6 billion in the most recent round of bids. However, negotiations have not taken place, and it is uncertain how the purchase price might be affected if McCourt refuses to include the Dodger Stadium parking lots in the sale. McCourt has said he intends to sell the team but keep the lots, in accordance with his rights under his settlement with MLB."
Whichever group ends up winning, let's just hope and pray McCourt gives in and sells the lots, too. He ties need to be completely severed from this great and proud organization. He's a black eye the franchise does not need.

It's going to be a fun eight-plus days. Everyone seems to think the Cohen group is going to win, but I'm still holding out hope for the Johnson/Kasten group.

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The Dodgers reassigned three players after today's games: Angel Guzman, Wilfredo Ledezma and Fernando Nieve.

Guzman threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit, one walk while striking out two. He could see time in Los Angeles this year, if there are enough injuries.

Ledezma posted a nice line in 5 2/3 innings: two hits, two runs (one earned) and four strikeouts. His biggest problem was the walks, as he walked five.

Nieve threw the most innings of the trio and was, at one point, making a case to make the Dodgers' Opening Day roster. He threw 8 1/3 innings, allowing six hits, three runs (all earned) while striking out six. He didn't walk anyone. He could be an option if the Dodgers need a swingman this season.

Notes from today's game vs. Cleveland

Dee Gordon collected a couple hits to raise his spring batting average to .415. He also stole his eighth base.

Andre Ethier picked up his 11th extra base hit of the spring -- a double -- in today's win.He's hitting .419 and appears ready to have a big season.

Chris Capuano had a solid game: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K.

John Grabow and Jamey Wright, fighting for a bullpen spot, were both unscathed. Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times tweeted contract numbers for Grabow and Wright if they both make the team:

Grabow

"John Grabow's contract will be guaranteed for $800k if he makes the big-league roster. Deal includes $200k in incentives based on GP."

Wright

"Jamey Wright's contact will be guaranteed for $900k if he makes the big-league roster. Deal includes $500k in incentives based on GP."

If we're making decisions based solely on money, Grabow's the choice. If we're making it based on need and talent, well, Grabow's still the choice.

I predicted he'd make the 25-man roster when he was signed. He's making a strong case to do just that.

Photo credits: health2con on Flickr (Soon-Shiong),
Rafael Amado Deras on Flickr (Johnson)

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