I’m still processing the ruling in the McCourt case. One thought occurred to me, however: if I were Jamie McCourt’s lawyer I’d make a point to screw with the Dodgers, starting today, in order to force a favorable settlement.
The judge just issued a ruling that Jamie has an ownership interest in the Dodgers. It’s not actually full ownership yet — the team is merely now presumed to be community property — but she has a much greater interest in the team today than she did under the once-presumed-valid post-nuptial agreement. In light of this, she should try to protect her interest.
How? Oh, by maybe filing for a temporary restraining order preventing the Dodgers from making substantial expenditures without court approval until the case is ultimately resolved. Make the argument — with tons of purple prose — in which she says that it is now winter, teams hand out millions of dollars in contracts in the winter, and the very future of the Dodgers is at stake. A contract could be signed tomorrow that simply kills the team (see, Rodriguez, Alex)! Please, judge, do not let Frank do this to OUR asset! Make him take all potential contract offers to you so that you can approve them!
Even if it’s unsuccessful, you could make the pleading up in such a way so that it would play like gangbusters in the press. Frank and Ned Colletti would have to answer questions about it. People would wonder if the team would be able to do anything without 50 lawyers getting involved. It would be a glorious thing. At least that’s what my vestigial lawyer’s evil conscience thinks at the moment. And hey, it could make Frank offer a really favorable settlement to Jamie.
Now, keep in mind that I’m operating from ignorance right now in that we haven’t seen the judge’s actual order. It may preempt all of this and put in place a plan of interim management pending the outcome of the case. But if it doesn’t, and if it’s a plain jane order in Jamie’s favor, I’d run down to the courthouse and start making Frank McCourt’s life miserable. Like, ten minutes ago.
In Saturday’s column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo suggests that free agent Cliff Lee is seeking a guaranteed major league deal between $6 and $8 million plus incentives. That is turning some otherwise interested teams away, as the lefty is still recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. Lee hasn’t pitched since July 31, 2014.
Last month, Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker said the pitcher would need “a perfect fit” to pitch in 2016. He also noted that Lee has begun a full offseason throwing program.
In his most recent season, Lee compiled a 3.65 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 12 walks in 81 1/3 innings for the Phillies. The Phillies had signed him to a five-year, $120 million contract in December 2010 but declined a club option for the 2016 season, instead buying him out for $12.5 million.
In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.
Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.
Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.
The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.
MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.
Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.
“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”
Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.
MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.
It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.