Who will be the mystery team for Jose Reyes?

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It’s hard to imagine Jose Reyes joining the Marlins for a relatively light $90 million over six years. Jon Heyman’s proposed $80 million over five years deal from the Mets isn’t all that special either. So, who might yet get involved in the bidding for the shortstop?

Red Sox – Boston may not have as much financial flexibility this year as last, but if new GM Ben Cherington is willing to go with Daniel Bard in the closer’s role, then fitting Reyes into the budget would seem possible. The switch-hitting Reyes would be a terrific fit in between Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Gonzalez at the top of the order, and the Red Sox wouldn’t have much problem covering for his injuries with either Marco Scutaro or Jed Lowrie around as a backup (the other would likely be involved in a deal).

Giants – GM Brian Sabean decided to build what will probably be the game’s most expensive bullpen, so it doesn’t look like there’s room for Reyes without the team’s payroll hitting $140 million next year. He’d provide a huge lift at a problem position, though, and give the Giants the leadoff hitter they need.

Tigers – Reyes would be an upgrade over Austin Jackson in the leadoff spot and he’d improve the defense by pushing Jhonny Peralta back to third base, but the Tigers are more interested in adding pitching.

Phillies – There’s little to suggest the Phillies would really consider spurning Jimmy Rollins for a younger but more expensive player.

Angels – It looks like the Angels would prefer to add power, but the idea of signing Reyes and then cashing in Erick Aybar is rather attractive. The Angels got OBPs of .325 and .316 from the top two spots in the order last season.

Nationals – The money is there, but the Nationals probably aren’t going to want to spend it on such an injury-prone player.

Brewers – If the Brewers thought they could get Reyes for $90 million over six years, I think they’d be all over it. The price, though, is likely to be higher than that, and the Brewers aren’t going to want to commit to anything until they’ve ruled out re-signing Prince Fielder.

Cardinals – St. Louis is sort of in the same boat. If Albert Pujols departs, then maybe Reyes would be an option. Reyes, though, may be long gone by the time Pujols makes up his mind. The Brewers are a more likely suitor anyway.

I do believe that one team from this bunch will end up making a big run at Reyes, forcing the Marlins to up their bid if they expect to stay in the running. I’d put Boston first on the list, followed by Detroit.

Dodgers owner Mark Walter is involved in a scandal

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The Dodgers last owner, Frank McCourt, was a mainstay of the gossip pages. The new administration has been pretty drama free since taking over five years ago. That is, until now.

Multiple outlets, ranging from the New York Post to the Wall Street Journal, have been reporting on a scandal brewing at Guggenheim Partners, the multi-billion investment firm led by Mark Walter, its CEO. Walter is also the head of Guggenheim Baseball Management, the offshoot of the firm which owns the Dodgers. Walter is the Dodgers’ named owner — the “control person” — as far as Major League Baseball is concerned.

The scandal does not directly relate to the baseball team. Rather, it involves allegations that Walter bought a $13 million Pacific Palisades home for a younger female executive named Alexandra Court:

In the past 24 hours, the company has pushed back on multiple reports that CEO Mark Walter will step down; its chief investment officer has claimed on CNBC that there’s “no tumult” at the company; and Guggenheim has denied reports on a real-estate blog and in the New York Post that Walter bought a California mansion for a younger female executive at the company.

The denial regarding who bought the mansion is a bit too cute, though, as the company only denies that Walter bought it or owns it. In fact, the mansion is owned by a holding company that also bought Walter’s personal residence in Malibu. Billionaires don’t go to closings at title company offices, of course. They buy houses through companies and LLCs and trusts and stuff. As such, the claim that Walter didn’t buy the house may be technically and legally true but entirely misleading all the same. For what it’s worth, The Wall Street Journal has reported that Walter and Court have a “personal relationship.” Walter, who is married, and the company deny this. Court is on an extended leave of absence.

Walter and Guggenheim are denying that Walter is going to step down as CEO. That remains to be seen. The question for our purposes is whether, if he steps down from Guggenheim Partners, he would necessarily have to step down from Guggenheim Baseball Management and thus relinquish control of the Dodgers. I suspect not — they’re distinct legal entities, and his departure from Partners would be unrelated to stuff having to do with the baseball team — but you never know. It’s not like he put up $2 billion of his personal dollars for the team. There are likely a lot of strings attached and contingencies involved to the arrangement.

Something to watch.

R.A. Dickey may retire

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Braves starter R.A. Dickey had a nice outing against the Nationals last night, allowing two runs over eight innings to pick up his 10th win on the year. After the game, however, he hinted pretty strongly that it was his last home start and, based on the schedule, one of the last couple of starts of his career. Dickey:

I’d be lying to say I didn’t have some emotions about it. This could be my last start ever at a home venue. But we’re going to make that decision at the end of the season and see how I feel and what goes on there.

The data points for the decision: though he’ll turn 43 next month, he’s still a useful major league pitcher. Last night’s win evened his record at 10-10 and pushed his ERA down to 4.32, which is around league average. He’s also subject to a team option for $8 million for 2018, which is eminently reasonable for a league average starter, especially one as durable as Dickey is. Last night was his 30th start and 2017 is the seventh straight season in which he’s pitched 30 games (he started 29 and came out of the pen once for Toronto last season). If he wanted to pitch, he’d certainly have a gig.

The data point against the decision. Family. Dickey:

If I did not continue to play, it would be because our family decided it wasn’t the best thing. I’ve dragged my kids all over the world playing baseball for 21 years. You know, there comes a time they deserve their dad to be around.

Dickey has four kids, aged 15, 14 and two who are younger. Based on my personal experience, once your kids are teenagers, you start to realize that your time with them is finite in ways you never really think about when they’re younger. It would be totally understandable, then, if he decided to walk away from $8 million and baseball in order to spend more time with them.

Part of me, though, selfishly wants to see Dickey keep going. He’s a knuckleballer, man. There aren’t many of them.