Frank McCourt scrimped and saved — wait, no he didn’t; he borrowed — to make payroll at the end of May. He is said to be fine for the mid-June payroll due tomorrow too, so good for him. That business with the Manny Ramirez payment coming due at the end of the month, however, makes things dire, one would think.
Yep: according to Bill Shaikin, the Dodgers have “no chance” to meet the June 30 payroll unless that Fox contract is approved. That according to a person “familiar with McCourt’s finances but not authorized to discuss them.”
So, it may take a month longer than expected, but barring an unexpected court ruling in the next two weeks (a) barring Jamie McCourt from objecting to the Fox deal; and (b) ruling that Major League Baseball has no right to approve or disapprove of Dodgers financial decisions, McCourt is going to lose his team at the end of the month.
Update (5:16 PM ET): ESPN’s Pedro Gomez is reporting that the deal is final.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.
Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.
The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.
The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.