This nugget in the AP’s report about Major League Baseball’s takeover of the Dodgers is every bit expected as it is depressing: a baseball executive familiar with the situation said that McCourt is preparing to sue Major League Baseball. He has reportedly hired the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell to do it, too.
Good luck. My understanding of the matter — and someone, please, tell me if I’m off base here — is that Selig can basically do anything with a team and its owner (i.e. approve his bid, kick him out, take control over his team, etc.) as long as he has the support of 3/4 of the other owners. Selig rarely does anything unless he has consensus. For him to have taken over the Dodgers means that he almost certainly has the backing of baseball’s other owners.
I’m guessing that the threat of legal action is bluster. And even if it isn’t bluster, it’s doomed to failure. Frank McCourt signed an agreement with Major League Baseball when he bought the Dodgers. I’m guessing what happened yesterday is provided for in its provisions.
Buy the ticket, take the ride.
The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.
Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.
The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.