FOX used to own the Dodgers. At this rate, they’re going to own them again someday soon:
Frank McCourt took a $30-million loan this week from Fox to meet the Dodgers’ payroll obligations, according to three people briefed on the arrangement. The arrangement is expected to cover the Dodgers’ expenses into next month … The loan marks the second time since the end of last season that Fox has provided money to the Dodgers’ owner so he could cover expenses. The loan was furnished to McCourt personally rather than to the Dodgers, according to the people briefed on the deal.
And because it was a personal loan, it did not require the approval of Major League Baseball. Baseball is still mulling, however, whether it will allow McCourt to settle his legal problems by taking a big chunk of cash from a new TV right deal for Dodgers telecasts on FOX and diverting it to Jamie McCourt and whoever the hell else Frank owes money too.
If I’m Bud, I wait this out. If he’s taking month-to-month personal loans to cover payroll, Frank is going to go bankrupt very soon and he’ll be forced to sell the Dodgers like Tom Hicks did. Sure, it may not be fabulous to have a marquee franchise in bankruptcy court, but as the Rangers showed, the process is survivable. And, once free from McCourt, the Dodgers could easily become a lucrative property once again.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.