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.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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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 Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National 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 National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves