Report: MLB explores possibility of new ballpark for Dodgers


SPORTSbyBROOKS has been told by multiple sources that MLB has reached out to AEG to inquire about the feasibility of building a new ballpark in downtown Los Angeles for the Dodgers.

AEG is the owner of the Staples Center, home of the NBA’s Lakers and Clippers, in downtown L.A. and has already proposed to the city a plan to build an NFL stadium in the same area.  MLB is looking to get involved as a way of getting Frank McCourt out of Dodgers business for good.

McCourt, who has taken the Dodgers into bankruptcy proceedings, not only owns the team, but he also owns the land occupied by Dodger Stadium.  Some have suggested that even if MLB succeeds in wrenching the franchise away from him, it could create a situation in which the new owner is forced to pay McCourt rent.

Says Brooks:

Talks between MLB and AEG remain in the formative stage, but I’ve been told that if such a plan were carried out, AEG would not have a controlling ownership interest in the Dodgers.

Dodger Stadium has been the home to the Dodgers since 1962, making it baseball’s third oldest ballpark behind Fenway and Wrigley.  In 2008, McCourt and the Dodgers announced a $500 million project to restore the area around the stadium and the creation of a new museum, with the idea the renovations would be completed for the 50th anniversary in 2012.  However, those plans almost entirely fell apart.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.