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.

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.