Frank McCourt has first meeting with team monitor Tom Schieffer

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According to the Associated Press, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt met Friday for the first time with Tom Schieffer, who was recently appointed by commissioner Bud Selig to oversee the team’s daily operations.

One of Schieffer’s first acts as “monitor” was to approve the team’s latest payroll. McCourt personally borrowed $30 million from FOX to meet payroll in April, which did not require approval from MLB. However, it’s not known if they’ll be able to meet payroll in May.

Schieffer, who was given an office at Dodger Stadium, told the Los Angeles Times that he assured Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti that he will operate normally and will only need his approval for an increase in the budget. In turn, Colletti told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that the Dodgers’ budget allows for moves similar to the ones they made at the last few trade deadlines. Yes, that means Colletti might have the chance to make more horrible trades like the Octavio Dotel for James McDonald and Andrew Lambo deal.

McCourt obviously isn’t thrilled with having Schieffer around and is still making his case to get MLB’s approval on a new television deal from FOX.

“I’m allowed here to run this business,” Frank McCourt said. “The judge has made that, he made that clear, and this deal is a great deal for the Dodgers. It’s ready to be signed. It’s ready to go and any questions about the Dodgers’ financial stability are solved simply by these documents.”

Meanwhile, Rob Manfred, MLB’s executive vice president for labor relations, said that they want to conduct a full investigation into the club and its finances before rendering a decision. And considering how much money McCourt could potentially be leaving on the table in this deal, it’s unlikely this will end well for him.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.