Dodgers' honcho Mannion: the McCourt's Divorce has had no financial impact

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Wait, so they signed Jamey Carroll to start at second base by choice?!

How would you say the divorce proceedings between Frank and Jamie
McCourt have impacted the Dodgers’ spending this winter? Have you been
asked — by Frank McCourt, by Major League Baseball or by anyone else
— not to take on major long-term contracts this winter?

Our baseball and business decisions have not been impacted by the
proceedings. Neither [General Manager] Ned [Colletti] nor I have been
asked by anyone to limit long-term liabilities.

So how would you explain to skeptical fans why the Dodgers are not in on any of the best free agents?

Ned has demonstrated a fantastic ability to read the talent market. We
made back-to-back NLCS appearances for the first time in three decades
as a result of Ned’s ability to make the right acquisitions at the
right time. We want the same thing our fans want, a team that can
compete for a world championship year in and year out, and we’ve been
in that position for the last two seasons. We expect that to continue.

And if you believe that, I have a highly-leveraged, once-proud baseball franchise to sell ya.

The Dodgers refused to take a chance on their best pitcher in arbitration, they have holes in their rotation, and they have not been a player on any free agent or trade target of note.  Maybe they still figure to be the favorite in an NL West that seems collectively unwilling to make any moves, but the Dodgers have taken a fundamentally different approach to this offseason than they have in any previous year.  If the divorce is not the reason for this I’ll eat my hat.

Magic Johnson to take over the Lakers, but will still be part of Dodgers ownership

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 15:  Earvin 'Magic' Johnson attends game one of the National League Championship Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field on October 15, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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This is more significant for basketball fans than baseball fans, but Magic Johnson is taking over basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Dan Feldman over at PBT has the full story on that.

For our purposes, you probably know that Johnson is part of the Dodgers ownership group. Anthony McCullough of the L.A. Times got comment from the Dodgers, saying that despite his new full-time job, his status with the Dodgers will be unchanged:

Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m not entirely certain what Magic does with the Lakers, so the first clause in Kasten’s comment may be doing most of the heavy lifting here.

Matt Wieters is close to signing with the Washington Nationals

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 02: Matt Wieters #32 of the Baltimore Orioles connects on a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on October 2, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.

Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.

Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.