Combination of file photos of MLB commissioner Bud Selig and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt

The Dodgers bankruptcy case could, theoretically anyway, stretch into 2012

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The judge in the Dodgers’ bankruptcy case released a hearing schedule this afternoon, and it anticipates ten hearings between the next one on July 20th and the 10th one scheduled for  Jan. 25, 2012.

Now, that doesn’t mean they’ll all be used, of course.  As has been reported, Major League Baseball is considering seizing the franchise via a motion soon.  If that were successful, things could wind up much more quickly. The same thing goes for the results of the July 20th hearing in which the judge will decide whose financing — Frank McCourt’s or the league’s — will keep the team running during the pendency of the case. Again, if baseball wins that one, it could hasten the proceedings and position things for a quicker sale of the team.

But yeah, it’s possible that this thing will drag on until 2012. Or the end of the world if you believe that kind of thing. Whichever comes first.

Phillies sign outfielder Michael Saunders

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.

The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.