Peter O’Malley drops out of bidding for Dodgers

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Peter O’Malley has withdrawn his bid to reacquire the Dodgers. O’Malley, whose family owned the franchise for 47 years until selling to NewsCorp in 1998, was partially backed by South Korean conglomerate E-Land.

O’Malley was one of 11 bidders who made it through the first round of the process, but Shaikin hears that O’Malley was concerned he might not win the bidding even if he made the highest offer. This could have something to do with O’Malley previously slamming outgoing owner Frank McCourt in the press.

The 10 groups remaining in the bidding are expected to submit new offers this week. McCourt faces an April 30 deadline to sell the team and has agreed to identify a specific buyer by April 1. The sale is expected to fetch an MLB record price tag in excess of $1 billion.

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.