For as ugly as the Dodgers stuff has gotten, there was always the two-steps-back reality check for Frank McCourt: if he pulled the rip cord he could still walk away personally wealthy given how much more the Dodgers are worth now than when he bought them.
Except, according to this report by Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, his debts and tax liabilities are more than most folks presume and — if forced to sell — he could walk way with nothing to show for the past seven years of his life:
McCourt bought the Dodgers for $421 million seven years ago, and the team arguably has doubled in value since then. Yet McCourt’s decision to take the Dodgers into bankruptcy means he could be forced to walk away from the team with absolutely nothing … If the long-term debts funded by Dodgers revenue are $550 million, if the Dodgers exhaust their bankruptcy financing, and if a sale results in the maximum tax liability stated by Frank McCourt, then the team would need to sell for $900 million just for McCourt to break even.
I know. I’d be just as crushed as you would be if such a thing happened.
The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.
Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.
The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.
The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.