Frank McCourt’s debt addiction got him and the Dodgers into their current dire straits, so it makes total sense that, as May payroll loomed yesterday, he continued to borrow in order to avoid a takeover by Major League Baseball. It’s just what he does.
That according to ESPN’s Molly Knight, who reports that McCourt met payroll by taking cash advances drawn from the team’s corporate sponsorship deals. Knight reports that the sponsors — unnamed at the moment — took discounts on their annual bills and on luxury box seats in exchange for the up front cash.
Of course, as was reported last week, June payroll is going to be way bigger because Manny Ramirez is owed a deferred compensation payment, so the inevitable has only been delayed. Which just means that, thanks to McCourt and his financial irresponsibility, whoever owns the Dodgers next will have their revenue streams needlessly diminished.
Doin’ a heckuva job there, Frankie.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.