A source told The Associated Press that Major League Baseball “probably” will file a motion in bankruptcy court to seize control of the Dodgers.
The AP describes its source as a person familiar with the league’s plans.
Baseball’s constitution allows commissioner Bud Selig to take control of a team that seeks Chapter 11 protection, with the Dodgers did with their bankruptcy filing Monday. MLB first must file a motion seeking termination of the franchise, and the person says that is “probably going to happen.” However, there is no timetable for that filing.
A Delaware judge on Tuesday authorized the Dodgers to enter into a $150 million bankruptcy financing arrangement. MLB has agreed to continue letting Frank McCourt run the team with the interim financing deal while providing its own terms for a new alternative financing plan. Additional hearings are scheduled for July 20.
Unless MLB can somehow get things moved up, it’s hard to imagine the league gaining control of the Dodgers in advance of the July 31 trade deadline. A league-owned Dodgers franchise would seemingly be less likely to sell off players in advance of the deadline. McCourt, meanwhile, has more incentive to shop arms like Hiroki Kuroda and Ted Lilly, even with his new loan.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.