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SBD/August 13, 2013/Franchises
MLB Franchise Notes: Nolan Ryan's Future With The Rangers Remains Up In The Air
Published August 13, 2013
KEEPING IT FRIENDLY: In Phoenix, Gary Nelson reported the relationship between the Cubs and the volunteer organization Mesa HoHoKams during Spring Training will continue "in the wake of a deal" between the two sides. HoHoKams President Mike Whalen said that his group and the Cubs "have a memorandum of understanding that will lead to a five-year contract." Volunteers will "park cars, take tickets, sell programs and serve as 'ambassadors' for fans" in the team's new 15,000-seat ballpark (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/12).
NOT KID STUFF: In DC, Adam Kilgore reported the Nationals are suing Westschester Fire Insurance Company "in an effort to recover $1 million of the signing bonus they gave to a fraudulent Dominican prospect" in '06. The Nationals that year "signed 16-year-old shortstop Esmailyn Gonzalez with a $1.4 million signing bonus." It was revealed in '09 that Gonzalez "lied about his identity and his age." The Nationals in their complaint against Westchester Fire "make a claim that validates a long-speculated belief: the player once known as Smiley kicked back part of his signing bonus" to then-Nationals Special Assistant Jose Rijo (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 8/12).
THE BEST POLICY: CRAIN'S N.Y.'s Aaron Elstein reported Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez, by returning to the team, "probably lost his chance for the ... largest insurance payout" in MLB history. If Rodriguez had not returned due to injury, the team's insurer "would have been left picking up a hefty portion" of the nearly $100M remaining on Rodriguez' contract. The Yankees "secured a policy" for Rodriguez' contract via Pittsburgh-based Team Scotti. The team reportedly has "insured 80% of A-Rod's contract, though it isn't clear when the policy was bought, its duration or what sort of deductibles are involved" (CRAIN'S N.Y. BUSINESS, 8/12 issue).