Major League Baseball keeps weeding out bidders for the Dodgers and now we are down to four, reports the L.A. Times:
- The Stan Kasten-Magic Johnson group;
- Hedge fund billionaire Steven Cohen;
- St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke; and
- Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley and a financier named Tony Ressler, who is also a minority investor in the Milwaukee Brewers.
True fact: Steven Cohen’s real first name on his birth certificate is “Hedge Fund billionaire.” His parents truly believed in destiny, and in his case it worked.
Anyway, all of these bids have been reported to be seriously moneyed (i.e. not overly-leveraged like Frank McCourt), with some of them having close to a billion dollars in cash alone, with overall bids ranging between $1.3 and $1.6 billion, which would make the Dodgers the largest sports franchise sale in history.
Imagine what they’d be worth if Frank McCourt hadn’t chopped them into little pieces and drove the brand into the ground.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.