Dodgers Bidders Down to Seven

Cross two more names off the list. The second round of cuts in the Dodgers' bidding process results in a pair of casualties. However, seven groups, including Magic Johnson's contingent, remain.

Bill Shaikin of the LA Times reports that two more prospective buyers of the Dodgers were eliminated today. Michael Heisley, who owns the Memphis Grizzles basketball team and Tony Ressler, who owns a minority share of the Milwaukee Brewers, were removed from consideration.

The seven remaining groups are Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten's group, east coast investor Steve Cohen and super-agent Arn Tellem, Stanley Gold and the Disney family, Leo Hindery and Tom Barrack, Stan Kroenke, Alan Casden and Jared Kushner, son-in-law of Donald Trump.

Of the remaining bidders, five have LA ties (save for Cohen and Kushner). Local billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong has yet to partner with an existing group. Other groups could potentially enter or, in the case of Joe Torre, re-enter the bidding were Frank McCourt to allow the land around Dodger Stadium to be part of the sale.

Reports from unnamed sources are coming in saying that McCourt has been offered between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion. Some speculated that McCourt could accept a bid of as much as $2 billion, but that seems high if the parking lots aren't included in the deal.

The deadline for McCourt to name a new owner, April 1, seems to be on target. He is due to pay his estranged wife, Jamie, $131 million by April 30, giving him motivation to close the sale as soon as possible. What could hinder the process would be MLB eliminating a group that McCourt likes. McCourt has the authority to request arbitration through a mediator, in order to allow the ownership group to stay in the race. However, with McCourt and MLB both wanting (needing) this deal to be finalized in a timely manner, I don't foresee any delays on the way to ownership changing hands.

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