Report: MLB explores possibility of new ballpark for Dodgers

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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.

Cubs sign Drew Smyly to a two-year, $10 million contract

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday evening that the club signed pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the contract is for $10 million total and allows Smyly to earn another $7 million with performance bonuses. Smyly was non-tendered by the Mariners at the beginning of the month and became a free agent.

Smyly, 28, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in late June. He’s expected to miss, at minimum, the first half of the 2018 season. The Cubs are hoping he can contribute to a playoff push in the latter half of the season as well as in 2019.

Smyly didn’t pitch at all in 2017. When he was healthy the season prior, he made 30 starts for the Rays and put up a 4.88 ERA and a 167/49 K/BB ratio in 175 1/3 innings.