Court-appointed restructuring officer recommends the Rangers be auctioned off

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I love that this was sold as a “prepackaged” bankruptcy. If I bought something prepacked like this at the grocery store I’d take it to the manager and demand a refund. Danial Kaplan at SBD:

The Texas bankruptcy court appointed chief restructuring officer (CRO)
has decided an auction of the MLB Rangers should occur, multiple sources
tell SportsBusiness Journal . . . The sources said the CRO, William Snyder, has already informed MLB
President & COO Bob DuPuy and said league approval will not be a
criteria for deciding the best bid.

At the outset, note that this is only a recommendation. The court itself can ignore it and, instead, simply give the OK to the Rangers’ bankruptcy plan as-amended. I haven’t even close to the bankruptcy court experience to even pretend to guess at how likely it is that the court would act on the recommendation, rubber-stamp the plan, poop or go blind.

All we know for sure is that this news, combined with this morning’s information about the unsuccessful creditors being invited to next-week’s mediation, sets the stage for a rebidding if the judge agrees to go along with the recommendation.  A rebidding, Kaplan reports, that would not have “whether or not Major League Baseball likes you” as a criteria.

At which point it would be interesting to see what, if anything, Major League Baseball does about it. Because remember: MLB likes to pretend that it’s federally-created antitrust exemption allows it to accept or reject would-be team owners with impunity.  I assume that they’re not going to try and pull rank over a bankruptcy judge on this point — this sale is complicated enough already — but if they don’t, does it not put an end to the fiction that they can pick and choose new owners?

Oh well. Just another fun day in the sale that everyone insisted was a “done deal” back in January or whatever.

Mets trade Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers

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The Mets traded centerfielder Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers for cash considerations or a player to be named later, the teams announced late Friday night. Granderson was rumored to be drawing interest from teams earlier in the week, and found a landing place after slashing .256/.360/.721 since the start of the month. In a corresponding move, the Dodgers designated right-hander Dylan Floro for assignment to clear roster space for the outfielder.

As a whole, the 36-year-old’s 2017 campaign has been a tad underwhelming. Granderson entered Saturday batting .228/.334/.481 with 19 home runs and an .815 OPS through 395 PA, and accrued 1.7 fWAR to the 5.1 fWAR he produced during his pennant-winning, MVP-contending season in 2015. Still, with under $4 million remaining on his contract, another 20+ homer season around the corner and the defensive chops to man center field, it looks like a prudent deal for the Dodgers as they continue to bulldoze their way to the playoffs this fall.

The club has yet to outline their plans for Granderson, but his addition to a crowded outfield could displace centerfielder Joc Pederson, who turned in a meager .214/.329/.415 batting line through 292 PA in 2017. It could also have ramifications for fellow veteran Andre Ethier, assuming he’s healthy enough to compete for a starting role when he comes off the 60-day disabled list in September. The Mets, meanwhile, are expected to lean more heavily on rookie outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who’s made just five starts this season after struggling to get consistent playing time on the field.

Corey Kluber exits game with right ankle sprain

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Indians’ right-hander Corey Kluber was removed from the sixth inning of his start on Friday night, bringing a streak of 14 starts with 8+ strikeouts to an unfortunate end after he sprained his right ankle. Kluber stumbled off the mound while trying to field a base hit from Eric Hosmer and was seen visibly limping as he moved to cover first base. He was allowed to stay in the game for one more batter, but quickly yielded a three-pitch single to Melky Cabrera and left the mound with head athletic trainer James Quinlan.

It was a poor ending to another strong outing by the right-hander, who delivered 5 1/3 innings of one-run, four-strikeout ball and took his 12th win of the season after the Indians amassed a nine-run lead. Postgame comments by Cleveland skipper Terry Francona suggest that Kluber isn’t facing a serious setback after sustaining the sprain, however, and might even be good to go by the time his next start comes around on Wednesday.

While the Royals escaped Friday’s loss without injury, the 10-1 drubbing pushed them 6.5 games back of the division lead and half a game behind the Twins and Angels for the second AL wild card berth. They’ll host a rematch on Saturday at 7:15 ET, with left-hander Jason Vargas set to face off against Indians’ righty Trevor Bauer.