According to the Associated Press, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt met Friday for the first time with Tom Schieffer, who was recently appointed by commissioner Bud Selig to oversee the team’s daily operations.
One of Schieffer’s first acts as “monitor” was to approve the team’s latest payroll. McCourt personally borrowed $30 million from FOX to meet payroll in April, which did not require approval from MLB. However, it’s not known if they’ll be able to meet payroll in May.
Schieffer, who was given an office at Dodger Stadium, told the Los Angeles Times that he assured Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti that he will operate normally and will only need his approval for an increase in the budget. In turn, Colletti told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that the Dodgers’ budget allows for moves similar to the ones they made at the last few trade deadlines. Yes, that means Colletti might have the chance to make more horrible trades like the Octavio Dotel for James McDonald and Andrew Lambo deal.
McCourt obviously isn’t thrilled with having Schieffer around and is still making his case to get MLB’s approval on a new television deal from FOX.
“I’m allowed here to run this business,” Frank McCourt said. “The judge has made that, he made that clear, and this deal is a great deal for the Dodgers. It’s ready to be signed. It’s ready to go and any questions about the Dodgers’ financial stability are solved simply by these documents.”
Meanwhile, Rob Manfred, MLB’s executive vice president for labor relations, said that they want to conduct a full investigation into the club and its finances before rendering a decision. And considering how much money McCourt could potentially be leaving on the table in this deal, it’s unlikely this will end well for him.
It was only a matter of time before Mike Trout courted another all-time record, and on Saturday, he found himself in elite company with his 25th and 26th home runs of the season. He put the Angels on the board with a 429-foot blast in the first inning, depositing an 0-1 fastball from the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman into the left field bleachers:
In the third inning, with the Angels up 2-1, Trout returned to tack on another insurance run. He targeted Gausman’s slider for his second solo shot of the evening and cleared the center field fence with a 418-footer to bring his total to 26 home runs on the year.
Trout has mashed at a staggering .339/.471/.596 clip since his return from the disabled list last month, and Saturday’s totals helped mark his sixth consecutive season with at least 25 home runs. That’s a record few have matched before their age-26 season; in fact, only Hall of Fame sluggers Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson have ever pulled it off.
Assuming he continues to rake in hits and plate appearances over the last six weeks of the regular season — and there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t — Trout is in line to join elite company of a different kind. The 26-year-old entered Saturday’s game with a 206 OPS+ (park-adjusted on-base plus slugging). According to MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, that means Trout’s hitting at a better clip than the average Major League player by a full 106 percent. Should he finish the year with a 200 OPS+ and 502 plate appearances or better, he’ll be the first player to do so since Barry Bonds obliterated the competition with his 263 OPS+ in 2004.
The Blue Jays acquired right-hander Tom Koehler from the Marlins in exchange for minor league right-hander Osman Gutierrez and cash considerations, the clubs announced Saturday. Koehler is in his sixth year with the Marlins and stands to make $5.75 million in 2017. He’ll be arbitration eligible in 2018 and is set to enter free agency by 2019.
The 31-year-old right-hander struggled to a 7.92 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 55 2/3 innings with Miami in 2017. He was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in late July, where he rebounded with a 1-1 record in seven starts and whittled his ERA down to a 1.67 mark. The Blue Jays have yet to establish Koehler’s role within their organization, but are hoping to see a turnaround from the righty when he breaks back into the big leagues.
Gutierrez, 22, was assigned to Single-A Greensboro on Saturday. He has yet to find his footing in the minors, and exited a 78-inning stint with Single-A Lansing after racking up a career-worst 7.85 ERA and 8.2 SO/9. His lack of control is particularly alarming, with a 6.2 BB/9 that dwarfs the 2.0+ BB/9 of seasons past, but he still has plenty of time to figure out his mechanics before reaching the Show.