The McCourt trial is on hold today as the parties meet in a mediation. Josh over at Dodger Divorce provides a brief rundown of what’s happening and what’s at stake (and if you care about this subject at all you should be reading him every day anyway).
I rarely had good results in mediation when I was practicing. Sometimes because I was a crappy negotiator. Sometimes because my clients were insane. Sometimes because the mediator himself just didn’t do a good job. Sometimes because the conciliatory nature and unfamiliar mechanics of it all are so hard to get into after you’ve been fighting tooth and nail for weeks. As a result I’m rather skeptical of mediation.
But I think the key thing here is that both sides bled some this week. Frank because his lawyer admitted to switching documents around, which is never a good thing and could conceivably be seen as evidence that he tried to muscle Jamie out of Dodgers ownership through less than kosher methods. Jamie because, well, let’s face it, her dumb act (“what’s a document?”) simply isn’t plausible, and if you doubt her when she says how ignorant she is about the agreement in question, you must necessarily give less weight to the whole document switching business.
Settlements don’t happen when people are at each others’ throats. They often do happen when people see their own case get beat up a bit in court, and realize the risks they face. I’m still not terrible optimistic given that it’s Frank and Jamie we’re talking about and each of them have shown wide, wide streaks of irrationality and greed throughout this saga. But there is hope.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.