Major League Baseball to offer alternative Dodgers financing today

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Today is only Day Two in what will likely be a lengthy set of legal proceedings for the Dodgers, but it’s a pretty big day.  Why? It’s the day of the initial hearing in the bankruptcy case and it’s the day on which the judge could very well decide if Frank McCourt is going to be able to continue to run the Dodgers while they’re in Chapter 11.

As we mentioned yesterday, Frank McCourt has secured a loan — a terrible one, but a loan nonetheless — of $150 million to keep the team operating during bankruptcy.  That has to be approved by the judge, however, and according to multiple reports out there, Major League Baseball is expected to offer an alternative financing solution. One that, one presumes, will not cost the Dodgers 10% a year in interest with a $4.5 million nuisance fee like McCourt’s plan. At the same time, baseball’s plan will likely come with the proviso that McCourt be kicked to the curb and the team be sold to the highest bidder.

The devil is in the details and we don’t know any details to MLB’s alternative financing plan so, no, it’s not certain that the judge would prefer baseball’s plan to McCourt’s.  But he could. If he does, it will likely mark the beginning of the end for him. If he lets Frank take his $150 million loan, it will likely be a much longer road ahead. At least for those of us who want to see Frank McCourt removed from power.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.