Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers

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 sign outfielder Michael Saunders

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.

The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.