SBD/November 10, 2011/Franchises

Source Says Dodgers Cannot Move On Free Agents Until Team Is Sold

Dodgers sale process will likely take four to six months, running into '12
The Dodgers "will not be able to bid on free agents such as Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols until the team is sold," according to a source cited by ESPN L.A. The source said that the team is "expected to sell for in the neighborhood of $1.2 billion," and the process "will likely take 4-6 months, spilling into 2012 and further reducing the Dodgers' chances of acquiring players through free agency." The source added that prospective owners "in the mix to replace McCourt include Peter O'Malley, Fred Claire, Steve Garvey, Orel Hershiser, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and Mark Cuban." The source noted that it is O'Malley "who would be the clear front-runner if he teamed up with Fox," which owns the Dodgers' broadcast rights through the '13 season (ESPNLA.com, 11/9). O'Malley, who sold the Dodgers to Fox 13 years ago, said, "The franchise needs leadership. It needs to be reconnected with the community. I think I can provide the restoration of the franchise quicker and better than anyone else." In N.Y., Richard Sandomir notes basketball HOFer Magic Johnson, White Sox Special Assistant to the Chair Dennis Gilbert, and former Sabres Owner Tom Golisano also are on the "list of potential owners." Golisano said that he "has strong interest in buying" the team (N.Y. TIMES, 11/10).

THE NEW DEAL: Minor League Baseball yesterday announced it has partnered with O'Malley, his sister Terry Seidler, and former MLBers Chan Ho Park and Hideo Nomo to take over operation of Vero Beach Sports Village (VBSV), formally known as Dodgertown. MiLB will submit for approval the proposed transfer of its VBSV lease to officials with Indian River County, which owns the facility. All five participants would have an equal ownership share in the new entity. O'Malley would serve as Chair & CEO, and MiLB President Pat O'Conner would become President & COO. The Dodgers held spring training camp on the VBSV grounds from '48 until '07, when they relocated to Arizona (MiLB).
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