Around The Web: Magic Johnson & Mark Cuban + Arbitration + Minor Deals

Los Angeles Times: Magic Johnson will front a group that is saying all the right things.

In searching for the right fit for his Dodgers dreams, Johnson researched six prospective bidders, then interviewed each of them, beginning each session with one question.

“I asked them, ‘What is your play here; do you want this team for the baseball or the real estate?’” Johnson said. “I wasn’t interested in anybody who wasn’t going to make baseball the priority.”

If they answered the first question correctly, Johnson asked a second question.

“I would then ask them, ‘OK, once you buy it, do you have enough money to turn them into champions?’” he said. “There are groups that will spend everything just to buy the team, and I didn’t want that.”

When Johnson met Mark Walter, Guggenheim’s CEO, he was convinced.

“The first thing I asked Walter was, ‘Do you want to win, and do you want to put money in?’” Johnson said. “He said, ‘Absolutely.’”

That passage makes even a skeptic like me optimistic about the group and I think that’s partially because of the money backing the partnership and because of the presence of a solid baseball operations person, but mainly due to the way Magic Johnson goes about instilling confidence and excitement.

Should be interesting, to say the least.

Los Angeles Times: Mark Cuban states that he still has interest in buying the Dodgers.

Dodgers owner Frank McCourt subsequently agreed with Major League Baseball on a deal in which he would sell the team and its stadium but keep the surrounding parking lots, subject to a lease that would guarantee the new owner could use the lots on game days.

As part of his due diligence, Cuban said, he would explore whether the exclusion of the parking lots might reduce the purchase price of the team.

He “will take a look and determine if one impacts the other,” Cuban wrote.

Honestly? He doesn’t seem too serious about it yet, probably just probing to see if the price comes down because Frank McCourt maintains the parking lots.

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MLB: Dodgers declined to offer arbitration to any free agents. I didn’t run a post about it because none of it was a surprise at all.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Reliever Wil Ledezma will apparently sign with the Dodgers. It’s only a minor league deal, so whatever, but he has a career ERA of 5.40 and hasn’t had an ERA below 6.75 since 2009.

MLB Trade Rumors: Middle infielder Luis Cruz inked a minor league deal with the Dodgers. He is…not so good, so this is probably AAA depth.

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