According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, who has been all over this story, Fox has advanced Dodgers owner Frank McCourt money in order to help cover the team’s operating expenses.
Fox owes the Dodgers $35 million for television rights this year, $37 million next year and $39 million in 2013, according to court documents.
Naturally, many find the timing as curious, such as Andy Dolich, a former top executive with the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Athletics and Memphis Grizzlies.
“It’s a bit odd, because the people and the entities that own these teams usually have the money to operate the team well into the future,” said Dolich, who emphasized that he has not reviewed the Dodgers’ finances or how the McCourt divorce might have affected them.
“Maybe it’s not odd, in terms of what’s going on, but I haven’t heard of a lot of teams that do that.”
Shaikin reports that McCourt has discussed a new television deal with Fox that would likely give him the money he needs to settle his divorce case, but as I wrote last week, Commissioner Bud Selig has the right to reject any such deal.
On a related note, yesterday a judge finalized his ruling in which he threw out a post-nuptial agreement that would have provided McCourt with full ownership of the team.
And so, McCourt is now covered in the short-term, but unless something changes, it still looks like an eventual sale of the team is inevitable.
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.
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.