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.
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.