Disney back in the Dodgers business thanks to mediator

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A bid made by Stanley Gold and the family of the late Roy Disney for the Dodgers was rejected by MLB last week as the suitors were trimmed from eight to four, but a mediator today reinstated the bid, leaving five parties in contention for the team.

Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times has the report.

The Disney bid was initially rejected because it “included private equity financing to back the launch of a regional sports network.”

According to Shaikin’s report:

MLB rejected four bidders presented by Frank McCourt, the Dodgers’ outgoing owner. The court-appointed mediator, Joseph Farnan, a retired federal judge, upheld the MLB dismissal of Beverly Hills developer Alan Casden and overturned the rejection of Gold.

The two other bidders declined by MLB chose not to appeal to the mediator.

The restoration of the Disney bid might not make much of a difference, since the same group of MLB owners that just rejected the bid will be voting again this week. Once that vote takes place, the approved bidders will be able to negotiate directly with McCourt the terms of a sale.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.