McCourt Divorce Trial Continues With Ownership Of Dodgers In Contention

Rumor: the mediator is going to propose a pro-Jamie McCourt settlement tomorrow

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As we mentioned yesterday, today the court-appointed mediator in the McCourt divorce case is going to propose settlement terms to Frank and Jamie.  Thom Loverro of ESPN 980 in Washington tweeted late last night that a source is telling him that the proposal from the mediator is going to favor Jamie, and will have her in an ownership position with the Dodgers.

This could cut any number of ways.  It’s possible that it’s a signal to the parties that the judge is inclined to rule in Jamie’s favor.  It’s also possible, however, that it bears no relation to the ultimate ruling.  The job of a mediator, after all, is to try to get the parties to settle, and a proposal that showed Jamie with no ownership interest at all would likely kill any incentive to settle on Frank’s part. All I can say for sure is that, based on my experience as a litigator, it’s not always useful to attempt to use a mediator’s proposals as tea leaves for the ultimate outcome.  He may not know the judge’s thinking, for one thing.  Or, if the does, he may more interested in trying to counter what he feels to be the parties’ relative willingness to settle. And sometimes, you’ll be shocked to know, mediators have their heads up their rear.  But I’ll leave my personal feelings on alternative dispute resolution out of this for the time being.

But the report is out there.  And according to yesterday’s reports, if Frank and Jamie don’t settle, the ruling could quickly follow, possibly as soon as next week.

Report: Mark Trumbo signs three-year, $37.5 million contract with Orioles

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth 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 Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.

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Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.

Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.

Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.

Astros avoid arbitration with Mike Fiers

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Starting pitcher Mike Fiers #54 of the Houston Astros walks to the dugout after pitching an inning during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 17, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Astros won the game 2-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.

Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.

Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.