Jamie McCourt accuses Frank of "blatant balance sheet manipulations"

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More fun from DodgerLand, as Jamie McCourt has filed new papers seeking adjustments in her monthly allowance. The highlight — at least from my perspective — is Jamie’s claim that Frank has way more money than he claims, and that he has grand, grand plans:

“Frank McCourt hopes to transform the Dodgers from a baseball team into
the anchor of a sports business empire that could include cable
television channels broadcast in English and Spanish; homes, shops and
a football stadium within the Dodger Stadium parking lots; and the
purchase of a soccer club in China and another in the English Premier

These smell less like concrete plans and more like every half-assed idea a husband mentions to his wife over a handful of years. If my wife was Jamie and I was Frank the list would include plans for the basement to become a rec-room, a home gym, a home theater and maybe, just maybe, to get cleaned up for once.  The article notes that a lot of those things have been discussed publicly, but in a world where Jamey Carroll is your big offseason pickup and Randy Wolf isn’t offered arbitration, some of those choices have to exclude the others, don’t they?

But man, if that football thing has even a kernal of truth to it, Frank McCourt should have the car keys taken away from him. I mean, if you think it’s hard to get to and park at Dodger Stadium now just plant a football stadium in the parking lot and see what happens.

Other highlights:

  • Jamie McCourt asked that her allowance be raised from her initial $488,000 request to $988,845 per
    month because of (a) property tax bills; and (b) records which show that the couple actually used to burn through $2.3 million. I couldn’t imagine how I’d spend $2.3 million a month even if money were edible;
  • In advance of the divorce filing Frank used “blatant balance sheet manipulations” in order to portray himself as less wealthy than he really is.  It’s a serious charge to be sure, but hey, he is a baseball owner and they have the market cornered on that kind of thing.
  • Frank McCourt currently resides in a “luxury hotel in Beverly Hills” and has spent $52,000 on clothes since November.  Given that the divorce papers revealed that the McCourts own approximately 326 pieces of real estate, I can only assume that he’s staying at the hotel while one of his houses gets renovated into a Quagmire-style bachelor pad. It would explain the clothing bill too, because a swingin’ bachelor needs nice threads.
  • Frank keeps two of his sons on the Dodgers’ payroll — at a combined annual
    salary of $600,000 — “despite the fact that one is a graduate student
    at Stanford and the other works full-time for Goldman Sachs.”  Eh, a grad student and an investment banker are more useful than Juan Pierre, and Frank kept him on the roster for way more money than that.

The trial to decide who owns the Dodgers is set for May 24th. The Dodgers are off that day before going on the road to play the Cubs, so it shouldn’t inconvenience anyone.

Report: Ben Zobrist’s price tag is currently four years, $60 million

Ben Zobrist
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
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Ben Zobrist will turn 35 years old early next summer, but that doesn’t seem to be putting too much of a dent in his free agent value.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the “sense among interested teams” is that Zobrist’s price is currently hovering around four years, $60 million and it “may go higher.”

There was a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Sunday stating that the Mets have made Zobrist their “No. 1” offseason target, and over a dozen other clubs have linked to him since the World Series ended. That’s the kind of attention you command when you can both hit — Zobrist posted an .809 OPS (120 OPS+) in 2015 — and also cover a range of positions defensively.

He makes sense for just about any club looking to contend in the coming seasons.

Wilin Rosario elects to become free agent

Wilin Rosario
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi
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Wilin Rosario was designated for assignment by the Rockies late last month. Now, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, the 26-year-old former National League Rookie of the Year vote-getter has elected to become a free agent.

Rosario is a bad defensive catcher and wasn’t much better when the Rockies tried him at first base, but he should draw some interest from American League teams looking for a bench bat and part-time DH.

Rosario slugged 28 home runs for the Rockies in 2012 and he’s averaged 26 home runs for every 162 games over the course of his five-year major league career.

He boasts a .319/.356/.604 career batting line against left-handed pitching.

Orioles acquire Mark Trumbo from Mariners for Steve Clevenger

Mark Trumbo
AP Photo/Joe Nicholson

As first reported by Bob Dutton of the Tacoma Tribune and now confirmed by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Mariners have traded first baseman and corner outfielder Mark Trumbo to the Orioles in exchange for catcher and first baseman Steve Clevenger. There is also a second player headed to Baltimore in the deal.

This feels like an admission from the O’s that they’re not going to be able to re-sign Chris Davis, who is said to be looking for more than $150 million in free agency.

Clevenger was out of options and the Orioles have both Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph coming back at the catcher position. Wieters was due to become a free agent but accepted a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Baltimore last month.

Trumbo has always been a low-OBP guy and he rates as a poor defender everywhere he has played, but the 29-year-old has averaged 31 homers and 96 RBI for every 162 games in his six-year major league career. Camden Yards is a much better place than Safeco Field for him to show that power.

Cardinals finished runner-up to Red Sox in David Price sweepstakes

David Price
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

These kind of after-the-ink-has-dried reports have to be taken with a grain of salt for a variety of reasons, but they’re fantastic conversation-starters …

Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the Cardinals “finished runner-up” to the Red Sox in the bidding for free agent left-hander David Price, who signed with Boston on Monday for a record seven years and $217 million.

There were reports early on that the Red Sox were going to have to overpay on Price because he wanted to either stay in Toronto or make the move to the more pitcher-friendly National League. And maybe they did go significantly above and beyond the next-best offer to land him.

But the report from Nightengale serves as an indication that the Cardinals are ready and willing to spend big money ahead of next week’s Winter Meetings in Nashville. Does that chunk of change now get directed toward Jason Heyward? Or might the Cardinals pounce one of the falling dominos in this still-loaded starting pitching market? What about both?

St. Louis lost Lance Lynn to Tommy John surgery last month and both Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha carry some injury concerns into 2016. There’s money to spend there with a new billion-dollar local television deal about ready to kick in.