Mark Cuban speaks about the Rangers auction

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Mark Cuban — as is his wont — took to his blog today to give a very long and very detailed explanation of his involvement in the Texas Rangers auction.  There’s a lot of play-by-play of how he got sucked into the whole crazy business. And it’s all very interesting, so you should definitely read it if, for no other reason than to realize that Cuban is a businessman and not a psycho.

But maybe the best parts come toward the end when he takes on two big criticisms he’s been getting lately: (a) that he would not be approved by Major League Baseball; and (b) that he was really only in the auction in order to bid-up the value of $2 million worth of Rangers bonds he happens to own:

Now lets talk about MLB.  It seems to be a fun media sport to talk
about how there is no way i will ever get approved  buy MLB to buy a
team.  At the hearing yesterday it was mentioned that our group only had
a 50/50 chance of ever being approved.  I tend to never look at the
glass as being half empty or half full. I look to see who is pouring the
water and to deal with them. Not the media.  I am pretty confident we
would have been approved.

Finally lets talk about finances. Lets talk about the bonds I own. I
have been getting a bunch of emails from reporters asking how much money
I made on the bonds I own. Suggesting that I bid up the price of the
Rangers in order to increase the value of the $2mm i spent on bonds. To
all of you I offer a lesson in economics.

It is NEVER a good idea to risk hundreds of millions of dollars on
the purchase of a team AND to spend what could come to more than a
$1million in professional fees in order to increase the value of the
$2mm you bought in bonds. I know its something for the media to talk
about. But if any of you out there think it through, I dont want you to
think i was stupid enough to do something that stupid.

The real reason he even bought those bonds, Cuban says, is so that he could be an insider and do some better due diligence on the Rangers when the notion of him buying the team first came up last year.

Seems plausible to me, as does most of what else he says.

The biggest takeaway here: Cuban was really in this for the opportunity
to create a regional sports network on which he could broadcast Rangers
and Mavericks games.  Contrary to the reputation he has in some quarters, that’s not nuts at all.  That’s really good business.

Brett Lawrie will take a pay cut to avoid arbitration with White Sox

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 12: Brett Lawrie #15 of the Chicago White Sox fields a ground ball during batting practice before the start of the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 12, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
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Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.

The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.

Cubs sign LHP Brian Duensing to a one-year, $2 million deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Brian Duensing #50 of the Baltimore Orioles throws a pitch in the eleventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.

The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.

The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.