Hedge fund manager Cohen, founder and chairman of SAC Capital Advisors, responds to a question during an interview at the SALT Conference in Las Vegas

Billionaire hedge fund manager Steven Cohen is going to bid on the Dodgers

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If I had $8 billion to my name, you can pretty much assume that I’d be buying a baseball team. Don’t care which one, even. I’d buy one and hire all of my baseball man-crushes to run it and/or play for it and I’d sit in the owner’s box with the kind of women who like to hang out with octbillionaires while eating and drinking like I was a Roman emperor and there’s nothing you could do to stop me.

Connecticut-based hedge fund manager Steven Cohen has eight billion dollars. He may not have the same vision I have about how he’d behave as a baseball owner, but he certainly wants a baseball team. Or so says the L.A. Times. And he is serious about it:

Steven Cohen, a billionaire eight times over, is bidding for the Dodgers in a process tilted toward the high bidder. However, the East Coast hedge-fund executive is not content to let his wealth speak for itself. He has engaged one of America’s notable sports architecture firms to propose renovations to Dodger Stadium, allied himself with one of baseball’s power brokers, secured the support of at least two prominent Angelenos and met with several major league owners.

The power broker in question is agent Arn Tellem, who insiders think would run the Dodgers in some way, possibly as team president, if Cohen wins the auction for the team.

Cohen was last heard of in baseball circles back in April when he was said to be considering buying into the Mets. That never went anywhere, probably because guys with that kind of money and power typically don’t care to take a non-controlling interest in companies. Owning the Dodgers, however, is a different thing altogether.

Also a different thing: Cohen’s company, SAC Capital Advisors, has been in the news this year as a result of having two of its fund managers plead guilty to insider trading. Cohen has not been implicated, nor has the company as a whole, but there have been subpoenas and things and that kind of thing is always a mess.

It remains to be seen if that would cause Major League Baseball any headaches.  Though, as the article says, given that the Dodgers are being sold at auction, the league has a slightly smaller role to play in approving bidders than it normally would, with Frank McCourt having recourse to the bankruptcy court if he feels MLB is unreasonably withholding approval of a potential buyer.

The White Sox wanted Astros’ top prospects for Jose Quintana

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 27:  Jose Quintana #62 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field on August 27, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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The Astros, Braves and Nationals came sniffing around White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana during the Winter Meetings, but each appeared to find the Sox’ asking price well beyond what they were willing to give up for the starter. On Saturday, Peter Gammons revealed that the White Sox had floated Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker and Joe Musgrove as a possible return for Quintana.

It’s a strategy that worked well for Chicago in the past, most recently when they dealt Chris Sale to the Red Sox for Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, among others, and flipped Adam Eaton to the Nationals for a trio of pitching prospects. Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow didn’t appear eager to sacrifice some of his core talent to net a high-end starter, however, and told the Houston Chronicle’s Jake Kaplan as much on Wednesday:

We’re prepared to trade players to improve our club right now. […] We’re just not prepared to trade away players that are core to our production in 2017, and those are sometimes the players that are required to get these deals done.

While Lunhow was speaking specifically to the inclusion of third baseman Alex Bregman in future deals, it’s not unrealistic to think that top prospects Francis Martes and Kyle Tucker would also be considered instrumental to the Astros’ plans for the next few seasons.

Martes, 21, currently sits atop the team’s top prospect list on MLB.com. The right-hander blazed through his first full season in Double-A Corpus Christi, posting a 3.30 ERA and career-best 9.4 K/9 over 125 1/3 innings in 2016. Tucker, meanwhile, profiles as the Astros’ second-best prospect and made a successful jump to High-A Lancaster last season, slashing .339/.435/.661 in 69 PA. Rookie right-hander Joe Musgrove is the only player left off the top prospect list, but he got off to a decent start with the club in 2016 as well, going 4-4 with a 4.06 ERA and 3.44 K/BB rate in 62 innings during his first major league season.

Daniel Szew: “Landa was a leader, happy-go-lucky guy”

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 1:  Yorman Landa #81 of the Minnesota Twins poses for a photo during the Twins' photo day on March 1, 2016 at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Twins’ right-handed pitching prospect Yorman Landa passed away in a tragic car accident on Friday night, per a team statement. According to Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, 22-year-old Landa was in the passenger seat of the vehicle when it struck a fallen tree.

Daniel Szew, Landa’s agent, spoke highly of the young pitcher, who was one of his first clients back in 2010. Szew acknowledged Landa for helping him expand his company, LA Sports Management, and referred to the late pitcher as a leader and his “little brother.”

Per Berardino:

He was very even-keeled,” Szew said. “That was his personality. He wasn’t wild. That’s why this is so tragic. He wasn’t a wild guy. He was a happy-go-lucky guy who took life as it came, and he was super happy — always happy.

If leadership was one facet of Landa’s personality, so was loyalty. The 22-year-old agreed to a minor league contract with the Twins on Tuesday after getting cut from the 40-man roster, fulfilling a promise to re-sign with the club despite fielding multiple offers from competing teams. The deal included an invite to spring training, and comments from his agent suggested that the right-hander was “super confident” he’d break through to the major leagues in 2017, notwithstanding a troublesome shoulder injury that hampered his progress in High-A Fort Myers during the 2016 season.

“He never wanted to leave,” Szew told Berardino. “It was the only organization he ever knew.”

Our condolences go out to Landa’s family and the Twins organization during this terrible time.