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.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the Dodgers have acquired catcher Carlos Ruiz and cash from the Phillies in exchange for catcher A.J. Ellis, minor league pitcher Tommy Bergjans, and a player to be named later. It was reported on Wednesday that Ruiz and first baseman Ryan Howard both cleared waivers and that Ruiz was drawing interest from a couple of teams.
Ruiz, 37, has served as the backup catcher behind Cameron Rupp. Over 193 plate appearances, he hit .261/.368/.352. He continued to play solid defense and has always had a reputation for handling his pitchers very well. In fact, in a commercial for the video game MLB 2k11, former Phillie Roy Halladay essentially professed his love for Ruiz:
Ellis, 35, is a free agent after the season while Ruiz has a club option for the 2017 season worth $4.5 million. It seems likely that the Dodgers pick up that option and make Ruiz Grandal’s backup next year. Ellis hit a lousy .194/.285/.252 in 161 plate appearances, but the Phillies aren’t particularly concerned with his production since they’re still facilitating their rebuilding process.
Bergjans, 23, has spent the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He’s posted a 4.98 ERA with a 133/29 K/BB ratio in 130 innings spanning 21 starts and three relief appearances. He went to school in Haverford, PA so the Phillies are bringing in a local guy.
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista has been activated from the 15-day disabled list ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Angels, the club announced. Utilityman Ryan Goins has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to create room on the roster.
Bautista missed the minimum 15 days due to a sprained left knee. He’s battled injuries throughout the season, limiting him to just 355 plate appearances over 80 games. He’ll resume play with a .222/.349/.444 triple-slash line, 15 home runs, and 48 RBI.
Bautista is in Thursday night’s starting lineup, batting first and serving as the DH.