Los Angeles Dodgers ownership saga coming to a close, Sands sent down, Wright signed

The ownership mess of the Los Angeles Dodgers will be coming to a close soon, as Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times provides welcome news.

What happens this week?

MLB owners will vote on the three finalists, most likely Tuesday. Approval of all three is expected to be a formality.

Then what?

McCourt and his advisers hold a modified auction, behind closed doors, most likely starting Wednesday. The goal is to pick a winner this week and close the transaction by April 30, the day he must pay his ex-wife $131 million in a divorce settlement.

A relief to everybody involved, surely.

As far as the remaining bidders go, what about Stan Kroenke‘s involvement with the NFL?

If Kroenke buys the Dodgers, would he move the Rams back to L.A.?

Not right away, and maybe not ever. The NFL controls the Los Angeles market, so Kroenke would be in violation of the league’s cross-ownership rules as soon as he bought the Dodgers. The NFL let him transfer ownership of his two Denver teams to his son, but the league has declined to assure MLB that Kroenke could own the Dodgers and the Rams in separate markets, or that the Rams could move to L.A.

Kroenke would not need the Rams in L.A. to launch a regional sports network centered on the Dodgers. His Denver cable channel features the Nuggets and Avalanche.

The NFL has long coveted the Dodger Stadium parking lot as the site for a football stadium. However, the NFL would be reluctant to approve a stadium there if McCourt retained ownership of the property, according to a person familiar with the league’s thinking.

Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal says the NFL would move quickly on a cross ownership ruling.

Goodell on Kroenke and LA, says league considers LA league market. Says if kroenke owns the dodgers it would raise cross ownership issues

Goodell says he told bud selig league would move quickly to decide kroenke cross ownership issue

As a fan of the St. Louis Rams, this would be sort of awesome if it happens, but reading between the lines, it doesn’t seem all that likely.

Getting back to the bidders, Shaikin provides positive news on Steven Cohen.

If Cohen is a major player in hedge funds, how concerned is MLB about the ongoing federal investigation into insider trading in that industry?

Cohen was cleared in an MLB background check. Although four of his current or former employees have been accused of insider trading, neither Cohen nor his company has been charged or indicted.

Ron Geffner, a former federal prosecutor and securities investigator, said there can be no certainty about the results of an ongoing probe. However, he said, the investigation has gone on for several years, and the involvement of four of Cohen’s hundreds of employees does not in itself make a case against Cohen.

“If the government had a strong case, they would salivate at the opportunity to bring an action against a high-profile person,” said Geffner, a partner at the New York law firm Sadis and Goldberg.

Well that’s good news, given that he’s the favorite, according to everybody. Molly Knight included.

Handicap guesstimating Dodgers ownership race: Cohen group 1:2, Magic Johnson group 3:1, Kroenke 8:1.

I’m coming to terms with it, slowly.


Jerry Sands was sent down, which was expected.

Jerry Sands, who followed up a huge September with a disappointing Spring Training, was optioned to the Minor Leagues by the Dodgers on Tuesday.

Although Sands sent a game-winning single through the hole at shortstop to give the Dodgers a 4-3 win over the White Sox on Monday, it raised his average only to .158. It was only his second RBI in 38 spring at-bats. He had 12 strikeouts and a .184 slugging percentage.

Josh Fields couldn’t be reached for comment as he is currently doing back flips.

Jamey Wright has been signed by the team to fill a bullpen spot, with Blake Hawksworth moving to the 60-day DL, and John Grabow exercising his out-clause.

The Dodgers on Tuesday confirmed the signing of non-roster pitcher Jamey Wright and created space on the 40-man roster by moving right-handed reliever Blake Hawksworth to the 60-day disabled list.

Hawksworth is recovering slowly from two operations — the initial one in January to clean out his right elbow and another three weeks later to address a staph infection.

The Dodgers guaranteed Wright’s contract having informed left-hander John Grabow, another non-roster invitee, that he would not make the club. He exercised an out clause Monday and was granted his release.

Jamey Wright.

Career 5.05 FIP and 4.67 SIERA.

Just saying.

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