We’re getting close to the end here, folks.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times passes along word that the field of bidders for the Dodgers was narrowed down to three earlier today. They are:
- The group led by hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen and philanthropist Patrick Soon-Shiong;
- The group led by Magic Johnson and veteran MLB and NBA executive Stan Kasten; and
- The group led by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke.
The group led by Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley and Tony Ressler, a minority investor with the Brewers, was eliminated. So was a bid by Stanley Gold and the family of the late Roy Disney.
We could have a resolution here pretty quickly, as MLB owners are expected to vote on the three remaining bidders early next week. Outgoing owner Frank McCourt has agreed to identify the winning bidder by April 1. Overall bids are reportedly in the range of $1.3-1.6 billion, which would establish a new record sale price for an American sports franchise.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates will sign reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension that includes two club options. The total value of the deal is believed to be $22 million and each club option is worth $10 million.
Rivero, 26, did not come to an agreement with the Pirates to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility ahead of last Friday’s deadline. He requested a $2.9 million salary for the 2018 season while the Pirates countered at $2.4 million. This extension will cover all four years of Rivero’s arbitration eligibility and the two club options can cover his first two years of free agency as well.
Rivero was one of baseball’s best relievers last season, finishing with 21 saves, a 1.67 ERA, and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. The Pirates acquired him from the Nationals along with minor leaguer Taylor Hearn ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline in the Mark Melancon deal.
Presumably, Rivero’s extension was in the works before he knew anything about the Andrew McCutchen trade. He made a couple of tweets following this afternoon’s news. In one, he used only the “facepalm” emoji. The other was a .gif of The Office character Jim Halpert yelling, “What is going on?”