I can’t say that I knew what Frank McCourt would do. Hindsight suggests to me that bankruptcy was his only option if he wanted to cling to power for a while longer, but it’s not like it was inevitable or anything. I’m a bit surprised, however, that Major League Baseball didn’t predict this, which is what is being reported in the L.A. Times:
“Even last Wednesday, I thought the way this was going to end was with him coming to the realization that he could not make payroll and saying, ‘You’ve got to cover me and I’ll sell the team,'” said a person familiar with league discussions but not authorized to speak publicly.
Whatever else you can say about the guy, Frank McCourt has a history of extreme tenacity and litigiousness. In light of that, I’m struggling to think why anyone with Major League Baseball expected him to merely roll over here. Maybe it wouldn’t have taken the form of bankruptcy — and maybe it’s all moot now — but how could anyone think that this wasn’t going to end in litigation of one kind or another?
Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.
Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.
If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.