Dodgers, Fox settle TV rights dispute

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The last possible thing preventing Frank McCourt from meeting his deadline to sell the Dodgers by April 30 was the ongoing litigation he and the Dodgers had with Fox over the Dodgers’ desire to auction off future broadcast rights prior to a sale.  That potential barrier is gone now, as the Dodgers and Fox have settled the lawsuit, with the Dodgers agreeing not to sell TV rights until after November 30 as Fox had desired.  Bill Shaikin:

The impetus for the settlement was the ruling last month that stayed the Dodgers from selling their television rights along with the team. U.S. District Judge Leonard Stark indicated he would probably make that ruling permanent.

So, yeah, when that thing you want looks to be impossible, it makes sense to give up fighting for that thing you want.

In other Dodgers news, there’s a new billionaire mogul type who is reported to be interested in buying the team. His name is Tom Barrack, he’s in real estate and he used to play rugby at USC.  You can read all about him here. Frankly, you’ve seen one former rugby-playing real estate mogul, you’ve seen them all.

Japanese outfielder Yoshida to negotiate with MLB teams

Masataka Yoshida
Yukihito Taguchi/USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — Outfielder Masataka Yoshida will be able to negotiate with Major League Baseball teams starting Wednesday under the posting system with the Japanese big leagues.

A member of Japan’s Olympic team last year, Yoshida will be posted at 8 a.m. EST on Wednesday and MLB teams have until 5 p.m. EST on Jan. 20 to reach an agreement, the commissioner’s office said Tuesday.

The 29-year-old hit .335 with 21 homers and 88 RBIs in 119 games this year for the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Pacific League. A left-handed batter, he has a .327 average with 133 homers and 467 RBIs over seven seasons in the Japanese majors.

Yoshida hit .350 with two RBIs as Japan won last year’s Olympic gold medal.

Under 2017 changes to the posting system, the posting fee will be 20% of the first $25 million of a major league contract, including earned bonuses and options. The percentage drops to 17.5% of the next $25 million and 15% of any amount over $50 million. There would be a supplemental fee of 15% of any earned bonuses, salary escalators and exercised options.

Hard-throwing right-hander Kodai Senga, another member of the Olympic team, is a free agent and does not have to go through the posting system because he has 11 seasons of service time in the Japanese major leagues.

Senga, who turns 30 in January, was 11-6 with a 1.94 ERA in 22 starts for the Pacific League’s Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. He pitched three scoreless innings in two outings against the U.S. in the Olympics, allowing one hit and striking out six with two walks.