NBA legend Magic Johnson and longtime MLB executive Stan Kasten lead the group that agreed yesterday to purchase the Dodgers from owner Frank McCourt for $2.15 billion. The sale price of the Dodgers shatters the previous MLB record of $845MM and bodes well for the 29 other owners. Here’s some of the reaction to last night’s news:
- The new Dodgers owners are buying the team with cash rather than financing, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times reports (Twitter links). MLB’s review of the sale is expected to be a formality, since no debt is being added.
- Kasten told Shaikin he doesn't plan to make changes to the Dodgers' front office. "I go in assuming everyone is doing their job properly," he said.
- Estimates for the total value of the Dodgers’ upcoming TV deal are as high as $4 billion, David Wharton of the Times writes.
- Peter Gammons of MLB Network points out that prospective free agents such as Andre Ethier, David Wright, Matt Cain, Cole Hamels and Mike Napoli benefit from the sale of the Dodgers (Twitter link). The presence of another potentially aggressive bidder should help top free agents.
- Hamels’ intentions are clear, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (Twitter link). The Phillies can offer market value and extend him now, or he’ll wait until after the season when someone else will spend big on him.
- Though MLB owners have only officially approved the Johnson-Kasten bid at $1.6 billion, it’s extremely difficult to see owners objecting to the $2.15 billion sale price at this point, as Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com points out (Twitter link).
- Johnson invested way more than a million in the bid, Yahoo’s Tim Brown reports (all Twitter links). “He has significant money," one insider told Brown.
- The fates of GM Ned Colletti and manager Don Mattingly haven’t been discussed, but immediate changes seem unlikely, Brown writes. Kasten and Colletti have a good relationship and have spoken often in recent weeks.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports will understand if Dodgers fans are rejoicing in response to the news.