The latest on the Dodgers and the McCourts

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For those Dodgers fans who aren’t jumping on the Giants bandwagon — anyone? — Bill Shaikin of the Times has the latest. Among the interesting points:

  • While Frank has taken over baseball operations from fired team President Dennis Mannion, a man named Geoff Wharton, whose background is in real estate, not sports, has taken over business operations. This would suggest to me that Frank’s plans to develop the Dodger Stadium parking lot remain front-burnered. Which is rather depressing;
  • Some talk about what might happen if Jamie wins the court case. This passage is curious: “Jamie realizes the chance of other owners approving her as proprietor of the Dodgers is close to zero.” You know, nothing good at all has come out of this case so far, but if Jamie does win, and a court says, yes, she does and always has been owner of the Dodgers, watching Major League Baseball attempt to keep her out of the owners club would be pretty hilarious. Maybe not worth it, but certainly something redeeming, as I think the fact that baseball thinks it can legally pick and choose owners is downright ridiculous; and
  • People in Los Angeles are actually hoping Magic Johnson might buy the team.  I know he’s a mogul and all, but that’s a pretty sad comment.  Johnson dismisses the idea out of hand because unlike Dodgers fans, he’s not suffering from abuse-induced delusions.

But hey, how about them Giants!

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.