Dodgers: McCourt's Been Offered $1.2 Billion, and Probably Won't Take It

Charles Bennett@chasbennettonbrSenior Analyst ISeptember 1, 2011

Frank McCourt has been offered $1.2 billion for the Dodgers, but don't expect him to give up the reins anytime soon
Frank McCourt has been offered $1.2 billion for the Dodgers, but don't expect him to give up the reins anytime soonKevork Djansezian/Getty Images

It was recently reported here that a coalition of investors led by former L.A. Marathon owner Bill Burke has offered embattled Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt $1.2 billion for the Dodgers.

This is surprising, considering that's probably more than they're worth, especially considering that buying the Dodgers would likely mean assuming millions of dollars in debt.  A recent Forbes estimate values only six sports franchises at $1.2 billion or more; the New York Yankees are the only MLB franchise worth that much.  The Dodgers are reportedly worth only $800 million, though that might not include the lucrative development deals considered for Dodger Stadium.

But don't get your hopes up, Dodgers fans, because as far as I can tell, this deal won't be happening.

First off, if McCourt wanted to sell the team, he'd have done so before the bankruptcy proceedings.  Therefore, he will not sell unless compelled to do so by either the bankruptcy court or his wife's divorce court (and the latter is apparently yielding to the former at this point).  Jamie has asked for an immediate sale of the Dodgers, but hasn't gotten it as of yet.

Secondly, Major League Baseball is already skeptical of the deal.  This may be in part due to the unknown identity of some of the coalition of owners, who are reportedly connected to the Chinese Communist Party.  MLB also fears McCourt using the deal to gain leverage in the bankruptcy proceeding, the Los Angeles Times reports

Thirdly, there's only one court date before this deal sunsets in three weeks.  And most of that court date will be taken up by the decision whether or not to allow the sale of the TV rights that would give McCourt the cash he needs to pay Manny Ramirez, and heaven forbid, people who actually still play for the organization.  It's quite possible that the judge will not grant the buyers standing in the court (he has denied other interests, such as the fans, standing), and even if he does, it is probable that there will not be enough time in the hearing for the issue to come up.

I unfortunately believe that it is going to be a long winter, and no matter how much we would like this deal to go through, Frank McCourt will be in control of the Dodgers until the end of the year.