LA Dodgers Sale: Mark Cuban, Magic Johnson Place Bids on Dodgers

Zachary D. Rymer@zachrymerMLB Lead WriterJanuary 24, 2012

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 25:  Owner Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks stands with the NBA trophy before a game against the Miami Heat on opening day of the NBA season at American Airlines Center on December 25, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers took a big step on Monday, as Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times reported that the team received "more than 10" opening bids.

There are some notable names among the confirmed bidders. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban put in a bid, as did Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson. Former Dodgers and longtime New York Yankees manager Joe Torre also put in a bid, and so did former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley.

The Dodgers have been owned by Frank McCourt ever since 2004, but the future of the team under his watch was tossed up in the air the moment he and his wife, Jamie, decided to separate in 2009. Thanks in large part to pressure from Major League Baseball, McCourt agreed to sell the Dodgers in November.

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 14:  Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt  speaks at a news conference at Dodger Stadium prior to a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers on April 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Large numbers of LAPD
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Per the Times, McCourt expects the Dodgers to sell for as much as $1.5 billion.

The reception of the opening bids is the mere start of a long, complicated process. But if everything goes smoothly, the team's new ownership could be in place in a matter of months.

Long story short, Dodgers fans can be happy to know that McCourt's reign over the Dodgers is in its final days. It won't be long before the team is under new management, and that means a bright future is just around the corner.

You can tell by the heavy-hitters involved in the bidding that the Dodgers are a hot commodity, and you can also tell the interested parties are genuinely motivated to restore the Dodgers to their former glory. 

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 01:  Los Angeles Lakers basketball great Magic Johnson speaks during an event announcing naming rights for the new football stadium Farmers Field at Los Angeles Convention Center on February 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. A
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Indeed, Magic Johnson said as much when he revealed he was looking to make a bid for the Dodgers.

"I want to make them great again," Johnson said in December, according to the LA Times.

As for Cuban, we know he wants to rebuild the Dodgers because of what he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in November about the Atlanta Braves. He indicated he had no interest in buying the Braves because they don't fit a certain criteria.

“I like franchises that need a lot of help,” he said.

The Dodgers should suit him, then. They have some good pieces in place, but the organization as a whole is a mess that needs to be fixed.

Johnson and Cuban aren't the only prospective owners that have the power to do this, of course. They are certainly the two most notable bidders, but the desire to fix the Dodgers is presumably not limited to them.

No matter who ends up owning the team down the road, it won't be easy to return the team to greatness. The team's new owner is going to have to be willing to spend, and there will also have to be a commitment to restocking the farm system. That may have to start with a front office overhaul, which would probably mean the end of current general manager Ned Colletti.

Right now, there are only possibilities, and that is already an upgrade. Under McCourt these last few years, the Dodgers have been rather restricted in terms of possibilities. 

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