MLB Approves Cubs Sale
The major league baseball owners have unanimously approved the sale of the Cubs to the Ricketts family. According to the Sporting News article, there are still a few hoops to jump through before the Ricketts officially take over day-to-day control of the team, which should hopefully happen before the end of the month.
The franchise still has to go through a 24-hour "pre-packaged
bankruptcy," which the Tribune reports will take place next Monday or
Tuesday. When that step is finalized, the banks financing the deal will
have a "10 day cooling off period" before they have to fund the deal.
When they do take over, Ricketts and Hendry will get to have this conversation (the following brilliance is from Andy Dolan at Desipio):
Jim Hendry: Mr. Ricketts, I need to talk to you about what we’re going to do with Milton Bradley.
Tom Ricketts: Sure, I knew this was coming.
JH: We owe him $21 million the next two years, but
we have to move him. We can’t possibly try to put him back in that
clubhouse with those players. They hate him.
TR: Fine. What are we looking at in return?
JH: Honestly, not much. There are only a few teams
that have any interest at all, and they don’t want to pay much of his
salary, and they don’t want to give up any real prospects. The best we
could do would be to trade for a player with a bigger contract, like
Aaron Rowand or Chris Young, and even then we’ll have to eat some of
TR: So we’re in a position where we’re going to pay a guy to not play for us?
JH: I think we have to. It’s better to pay him to not play here, than have him here poisoning the team and not producing.
TR: So it’s your opinion, that the best solution to
this is to not try to make something that’s not working, work, but
instead to cut the cord and eat the money and bring in somebody better
equipped to do the job?
JH: Exactly. Sometimes it’s the best thing.
TR: For example, you have three years and $9 million left on your deal, right?
TR: So how about this? How about I eat that nine
million bucks, and pay you to not screw up our roster and our payroll
anymore, and bring in somebody else to do the job, instead of having
you try…again…to find somebody to bat lefthanded and not poison the
clubhouse and underperform? Because, as you read in the papers for
months, I need to decide what to do with Kenney. He thinks he’s going
to stay on to handle the Wrigley Field renovations and be your boss.
But I could bring in a baseball guy like John Schuerholz or Sandy
Alderson to be the president, and instead of having them be your boss,
they could just do your job.
JH: Uh…I guess.
TR: Great. Now why don’t you and Crane leak that
to your little toadies, Levine and Kaplan? I’ve got a completely
fucked up payroll to worry about.
Speaking of the payroll, Arizona Phil has updated the right sidebar with the latest estimates. The Cubs are on the hook for $118M in guaranteed contracts and an estimated $18 million if they auto-renew and sign all their arbitration eligible players (which they probably won't). That puts the grand total at around $136M before any dealmaking gets under way.