Just a day after Forbes released a story about Major League Baseball teams in debt trouble, the New York Post reports that baseball is changing its debt rules:
Major League Baseball is working to cut how much debt its teams can carry, The Post has learned.
The move, aimed at avoiding a Mets-like cash squeeze or a Texas Rangers bankruptcy-type scenario, will be centered on widening the definition of team debt, sources close to the situation said.
For example, MLB wants teams to include holding company loans and not just what is directly on team’s books when determining total debt, a source with direct knowledge of the talks said.
This is apparently part of collective bargaining. Makes some sense given that a team’s ability to take on debt has a direct relationship to how much it can spend on stuff, salaries included. I’m sure it’s a tough balance for the union given that they want teams to be both free-spending and solvent.
Whatever happens, there isn’t much murkier in the world than the finances of professional sports teams, so it’s hard to see all of the different directions in which this kind of thing can break. But this seems like a good idea. One Tom Hicks situation is enough. And by the time this is all said and done, we may have had three of them.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.