Steve Garvey

Steve Garvey and a billion others line up to bid on the Dodgers

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ESPN Los Angeles is reporting that former Dodger first baseman Steve Garvey is preparing to put in a bid for the team in the upcoming bankruptcy auction which will finally wrest control of the team from the clutches of Frank McCourt.

Garvey went on record last February with his interest in buying the team.  Of course back then the team wasn’t for sale and Garvey was a team employee, so his ambitions got him fired.

As I said back then, one has to wonder whether a motivational speaker/informercial king/VIP greeter/paternity suit magnet like Garvey who, by some reports, has had personal financial difficulties of his own over the years is really someone who can rope together a billion bucks from investors. But this being an auction, Garvey’s financial bona fides will be checked beforehand and his group approved by Major League Baseball before he’s allowed to bid.

There appear to be no shortage of other groups trying to get a bid together. Former owner Peter O’Malley said he is.  Mark Cuban may.  Former agent Dennis Gilbert, who was in pursuit for the Rangers last year, may also be interested.  And of course there are always heavily-moneyed people you’ve never heard of who show up on the scene in such instances.

The kicker to all of this: if the bidding does get hot and heavy and the price goes up, Frank McCourt may actually walk away from this thing with a lot of dough even after he pays off his copious debts.  Which would push me that much closer to simply becoming a nihilist.

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.

Padres sign Trevor Cahill

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Trevor Cahill (53) during the seventh inning of Game 3 in baseball's National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.

As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.

He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.