Dodgers sale ends slim hope of big off-season acquisition
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Were you crossing fingers and holding out hope that maybe, just maybe, the Dodgers would actually be a big-time player this off-season?
Did visions of Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols dance in your little baseball dreams? Did you rationalize that some massively deferred contract would be offered by the bankrupt team and accepted by one of the game’s premier sluggers?
Frank McCourt finally relinquishing his death grip on the franchise means he’s not about to add more debt to the team before agreeing on a sales price. That’s even more money out of his pocket.
And his attention just might be elsewhere.
Said super-agent Scott Boras to The Times’ Dylan Hernandez:
‘Historically, when a Bankruptcy Court and a selling owner are the ones managing the off-season, the focus is far from the field.’
Boras, of course, represents … Fielder!
So get ready for peripheral additions, such as the Dodgers re-signing outfielder Juan Rivera. Old veterans with a year or two left, not prized hitters in their expensive prime.
If the Dodgers are going to make the leap from a third-place team to division winner, it’s going to largely have to come from within. All those promising kids will need to take a step forward in 2012.
Major League Baseball wants this to be a remarkably quick sale, and is hopeful of having a new Dodgers owner in place by opening day. That’s pretty ambitious timing.
The only possible way a Fielder is nabbed is if the new owner is identified early and the first baseman is still on the market. And good luck with that.
Hope you believe in the way the Dodgers played the final two months of the season, because that same group figures to return in the spring, just tidied up a bit.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Left photo: Prince Fielder. Credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images
Right photo: Albert Pujols. Credit: Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press