Because the Dodgers situation isn’t complicated enough, it’s probably time to throw bankruptcy into the mix:
Major League Baseball is preparing for the possibility that Frank McCourt might take the Dodgers into bankruptcy court before the league could strip him of the team … The league is “looking hard” at that option, said a personal familiar with the matter but not authorized to comment publicly because of the potential for litigation.
In the article, Bill Shaikin talks to some bankruptcy experts who talk about what that could mean for MLB’s assumption of control over the team, Frank McCourt’s ownership interest and all of that. There’s not much in the way of consensus unless you count “man, this would really make things difficult” as a consensus.
With the all of the same “I know next to nothing about bankruptcy law” caveats I gave last year when the Rangers’ business was going down, it strikes me — and those quoted in Shaikin’s article — that a key inquiry in bankruptcy would be the Fox TV teal that McCourt claims is the key to the Dodgers well-being and which Major League Baseball is loathe to approve.
As far as that goes, I suppose it’s possible that a judge could say, yeah, that deal should happen. But (a) I’m not sure how an unconsummated deal can be an asset that a bankruptcy court could consider; and (b) even if it is, baseball could probably call a parade of experts to testify that the Dodgers could do way better on the TV side than what Fox is offering. And of course, Jamie McCourt has a stake here too, and nothing about her involvement would make this less, rather than more complicated.
All I keep telling myself here is that, however horrible this gets, at least it will forever serve as a lesson to Major League Baseball to not let litigious, greedy and cash poor nudnicks like the McCourts into the ownership club in the future.
Baseball is learning that lesson, right?
The Brewers have signed Neftali Feliz to a one-year, $5.35 million contract. There are some performance incentives in the deal that could push it to $6.85 million. Feliz will likely open the 2017 season as the Brewers’ closer.
The 28-year-old righty is coming off of an impressive season with the Pirates. His hits allowed per nine innings were WAY down and his WHIP dipped sharply as well, despite the fact that he walked a few more dudes. That was offset by a big spike in his strikeout rate: from 7.3/9IP in 2015 to 10.2 last year. A blemish: he missed the last month of the season after suffering a bout of arm soreness, though no structural problem was ever uncovered, he’ll likely be good to go next month.
The Miami Marlins have acquired starting pitcher Dan Straily from the Cincinnati Reds. In exchange, the Reds will receive right-handed pitching prospects Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfield prospect Isaiah White.
For the Marlins, they get a solid starter who logged 191.1 innings of 113 ERA+ ball last year. Straily has moved around a lot in his five big league seasons — the Marlins will be his fifth club in six years — but it was something of a breakout year for him in Cincinnati. The only troubling thing: he tied for the league lead in homers allowed. Of course, pitching half of his games in Great American Ballpark didn’t help that, and Miami will be a better place for him.
Castillo is 24. He split last season between high-A and Double-A — far more of it in A-ball — posting a 2.26 ERA over 24 starts. Austin Brice is also 24. He pitched 15 games in relief for the Marlins last year at the big league level with poor results. He seemed to blossom at Triple-A, however, after the Marlins shifted him to the pen. White was a third round pick in the 2015 draft. He played low-A ball as a minor leaguer last year, hitting .214/.306/.301.
A mixed bag of young talent for the Reds, but stockpiling kids and seeing what shakes out is what a team like the Reds should be doing at the moment. For the Marlins: a solid mid-to-back end starter who may just be coming into his own.