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.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.