In other news, the Denver Post owns a share of the Colorado Rockies:
The Post holds a 7.3 percent state in the major league baseball club that is majority owned by brothers Dick and Charlie Monfort. Ed Moss, CEO of the Denver Post, said Digital First Media, which operates MediaNews Group, owner of the newspaper, is seeking to sell the minority stake in the Rockies as the Post focuses on core print and digital business.
It always seems strange to me when newspapers own chunks of businesses which constitute a significant part of the news they cover. I mean, the Rockies don’t make the news randomly, in situations where a brief disclaimer can clear up a potential conflict of interest. They’re assured to be a day-in-day-out part of the Post’s sports section. To my knowledge nothing untoward has ever come of this relationship, but one wonders what the coverage of the Rockies would have been like if their ownership group found itself in a Frank McCourt or Wilpons/Madoff situation.
As for the sale: heck, with franchise values ascending like they are right now, it might not be a bad time for minority owners to cash in. There’s a huge bubble in team values these days and while it may not burst violently like the housing market did, no investment appreciates forever. Oh, and newspapers, in this day and age, could use some cash.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.
The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.
That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.
Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.