I have yet to see the lawsuit, but SportsBusiness Journal’s Daniel Kaplan is reporting that Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan are suing the Texas Rangers.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The reason according to Kaplan: the court-appointed restructuring officer (“CRO”) — who acts on behalf of the bankrupt entity (i.e. the Rangers) — is attempting “to hijack the proceedings,” via its soliciting other bids in violation of Greenberg and Ryan’s exclusivity rights which last until August 12th. Why they didn’t raise this two weeks ago when the idea of an auction — and thus the virtual certainty of other bidders — first came into play is an open question. For what it’s worth, however, Kaplan’s reporting suggests that the CRO isn’t just soliciting bids, but rather, is negotiating with other potential buyers. That could be Jim Crane or it could be Jeff Beck. Either way, it’s pissing Greenberg and Ryan off.
Look, there are a lot of complicated legal reasons which could explain why such a tack is being taken. None of which necessarily mean that Greenberg and Ryan’s ultimate ownership of the team is in jeopardy. But really, how can this be a good thing? Indeed, the fact from Kaplan’s report I find most telling is that Greenberg has new lawyers (White & Case). Whenever a new team comes in so late in the game it almost always means acrimony and ugliness behind the scenes or, at the very least, of plans gone astray. When such a thing happens, it’s not uncommon for the new guys to counsel an offensive, which is what we’re apparently seeing here.
The Rangers got their big trade done, so maybe this is whole drama is now academic from a “compete in 2010” perspective. Indeed, maybe the Cliff Lee trade made Greenberg and Ryan feel free to just unleash in a way they wouldn’t have had they still been sweating the deadline. Hard to say. Either way, this sale keeps getting messier and messier.
Athletics pitcher Chris Bassitt will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery on Friday, MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports. He was diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament over the weekend, so this news doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
Bassitt, 27, is certainly out for the remainder of the 2016 season and will likely miss a sizable portion of the 2017 season as well. The right-hander made five starts for the A’s to begin the season, but put up an ugly 6.11 ERA with a 23/14 K/BB ratio in 28 innings.
Jesse Hahn took Bassitt’s spot in the Athletics’ starting rotation. Hahn is expected to start next on Saturday versus the Orioles.
Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer press is reporting that the Twins have placed pitchers Tommy Milone and Casey Fien on waivers. Berardino adds that Fien would be able to reject a demotion to the minors if he passes through waivers, but Milone could not. Milone and Fien are only a part of what’s been ailing the 8-20 Twins.
Milone, 29, was solid out of the rotation for the Twins last season, but the same can’t be said of his start to the 2016 season. The lefty has a 5.79 ERA with a 19/7 K/BB ratio over four starts and one relief appearance. He was taken out of the Twins’ rotation following his final start in April.
Fien, 32, was also dependable for the Twins in previous years, but has had a rocky 2016 thus far. The right-hander has yielded 12 runs on 21 hits and three walks with 12 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.
Milone will be eligible for his third and final year of arbitration after the season after earning $4.5 million this season. Fien has two more years of arbitration eligibility left — his third and fourth — and is earning $2.275 million this year.
Free agent starter Kyle Lohse is throwing for interested teams at the University of California, Irvine, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports.
Lohse, 37, remains unsigned into baseball’s second month on the heels of last season’s 5.85 ERA and 108/43 K/BB ratio over 152 1/3 innings. Although Lohse was quite good in the four seasons prior, teams are understandably reluctant to bank on pitchers in their late-30’s.
The Orioles, Tigers, and Reds have had reported interest in Lohse in recent months.
Anthony Salamone of the Morning Call reports that Majestic Athletic employees plan to protest at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, PA on Friday night. The employees are protesting Majestic’s owner VF Corporation’s attempt to undercut wages and medical benefits. VF Corporation acquired Majestic in February 2007.
Coca-Cola Park is home to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate. Majestic has manufacturing facilities in Easton, PA, which is less than a half-hour from Coca-Cola Park. The IronPigs, as well as all 30 Major League Baseball teams, wear uniforms manufactured by Majestic.
Corporations affiliated with Major League Baseball taking advantage of employees isn’t anything new. Last year, when protests over police violence disrupted the Orioles’ schedule, some employees with the Orioles and Aramark almost lost out on multiple days of pay.