Billionaire hedge fund manager Steven Cohen is going to bid on the Dodgers

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If I had $8 billion to my name, you can pretty much assume that I’d be buying a baseball team. Don’t care which one, even. I’d buy one and hire all of my baseball man-crushes to run it and/or play for it and I’d sit in the owner’s box with the kind of women who like to hang out with octbillionaires while eating and drinking like I was a Roman emperor and there’s nothing you could do to stop me.

Connecticut-based hedge fund manager Steven Cohen has eight billion dollars. He may not have the same vision I have about how he’d behave as a baseball owner, but he certainly wants a baseball team. Or so says the L.A. Times. And he is serious about it:

Steven Cohen, a billionaire eight times over, is bidding for the Dodgers in a process tilted toward the high bidder. However, the East Coast hedge-fund executive is not content to let his wealth speak for itself. He has engaged one of America’s notable sports architecture firms to propose renovations to Dodger Stadium, allied himself with one of baseball’s power brokers, secured the support of at least two prominent Angelenos and met with several major league owners.

The power broker in question is agent Arn Tellem, who insiders think would run the Dodgers in some way, possibly as team president, if Cohen wins the auction for the team.

Cohen was last heard of in baseball circles back in April when he was said to be considering buying into the Mets. That never went anywhere, probably because guys with that kind of money and power typically don’t care to take a non-controlling interest in companies. Owning the Dodgers, however, is a different thing altogether.

Also a different thing: Cohen’s company, SAC Capital Advisors, has been in the news this year as a result of having two of its fund managers plead guilty to insider trading. Cohen has not been implicated, nor has the company as a whole, but there have been subpoenas and things and that kind of thing is always a mess.

It remains to be seen if that would cause Major League Baseball any headaches.  Though, as the article says, given that the Dodgers are being sold at auction, the league has a slightly smaller role to play in approving bidders than it normally would, with Frank McCourt having recourse to the bankruptcy court if he feels MLB is unreasonably withholding approval of a potential buyer.

Blue Jays release John Axford

John Axford
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The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.

Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.

Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.