Creditors reject Greenberg's latest offer

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Chuck Greenberg keeps telling everyone who will listen that there’s nothing to worry about, the sale of the Rangers will close by April 1, and all will be happy and sunshine. Events on the ground, however, continue to make such a scenario less and less likely. According to Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Daily:

Hicks Sports Group creditors late last week again turned down terms for the
sale of the Rangers, continuing to throw into question when the ballclub will
be sold, sources said.

To review, under terms of the initial deal, the creditors were to get $230 million in cash. They want $300 million and have at least claimed that they’d throw the team into bankruptcy court in order to get it.  Now, to be fair, the odds of actually collecting that amount in bankruptcy court are rather small, and that’s before you even figure in the legal fees and hassle. But that’s the posture anyway, and each time Greenberg has attempted to get the deal done, they’ve said no dice.

Last week’s back and forth had Greenberg upping the offer to $240 million or $275 million depending on who you believe (the $275 million figure was supposed to contain deferred money).  $30-$60 million ain’t hay, so it’s not like you can expect the creditors to simply say “ah, screw it, let’s just round down” any more than you can expect Greenberg to simply say “ah screw it, I’ll just write you a check to get it done.”

This doesn’t mean Greenberg doesn’t end up with the Rangers at some point. It does, however, yet again, render the rosy “every little thing gonna be alright” jazz he’s been peddling since December increasingly silly.  Deals of this size get derailed over far less than $60 million, and even if they end up going through, a difference in that amount can utterly destroy the timeline.

Upshot: there’s a very real possibility that the Rangers may spend another season, or at least a good chunk of it, in the same kind of financial limbo they were in last year. A year in which they had to beg MLB for loans.

Dodgers sign Rich Hill to a three-year, $48 million deal

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Rich Hill #44 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs in game three of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The Dodgers have signed lefty Rich Hill to a three-year, $48 million contract.The deal was reported to be imminent over the weekend, but was finalized today following Hill’s physical.

Hill missed a good deal of time in 2016 with blister issues — and he’ll be 37-years-old on Opening Day — but when he was healthy he was fantastic, posting the best season in his 12-year career. He had a a 2.12 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 110.1 innings between the Athletics and Dodgers.

Along with a healthy Clayton Kershaw a maturing Julio Urias and Kenta Maeda, the Dodgers rotation looks to be a strength in 2017.

UPDATE: Giants agree to a deal with Mark Melancon

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 10:  Mark Melancon #43 of the Washington Nationals reacts after the final out as the Nationals defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-3 in game three of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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UPDATE: Buster Olney reports that a deal is in place pending a physical. The financial terms are not yet known. UPDATE: Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears it’s in the four-year, $62 million range. That will make him, temporarily at least, the highest-paid closer in baseball history.

12:15 PMKen Rosenthal reports that the San Francisco Giants are close to a deal with closer Mark Melancon.

Melancon had an outstanding 2016, posting a 1.64 ERA, 2.42 FIP and a 5.42 K/BB rate in 71.1 innings while saving 47 games for the Pirates and Nationals. You may recall that the Giants had a strong interest in Melancon last summer. It was a well-founded interest given the bullpen woes which waylaid San Francisco in the second half of last season and continued on into the playoffs.

The terms of the apparently impeding deal will be known soon enough, but Rosenthal reported yesterday that Melancon was fielding offers in the four-years, $60 million range. That’s a lot for a closer, but it’ll probably look like a bargain compared to the deals signed with the other two top closers on the market, Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen. Some have speculated that Chapman could get a deal closer to $100 million than $50 million, though that seems optimistic.

What the past couple of seasons have shown, however, is that having a top bullpen will get you very, very far in Major League Baseball. Champan may have been gassed at the end of Game 7, but he was essential to the Cubs’ World Series title. Powerful bullpens gave the Royals a title in 2015 and the Indians an AL pennant this past year. A weak one was, obviously, the Giants’ achilles heel.

Their great need at the back end of the pen, according to Rosenthal’s report, is apparently about to be filled.