NL West Notes: Dodgers, Gonzalez, Pence

Steven Cohen, the hedge fund billionaire who was a finalist to purchase the Dodgers in 2012, faces Securities and Exchange Commission allegations that he failed to investigate evidence of possible insider trading by his employees, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. A partnership between Cohen and the Los Angeles-based doctor and investor Patrick Soon-Shiong was one of three finalists in the bidding, but the two were eventually outbid by Guggenheim Baseball Management, which has spent lavishly to bring in marquee players like Yasiel Puig and Zack Greinke. Cohen eventually had to settle for a minority stake in the Mets. As Shaikin notes, a high-profile battle between Cohen and the federal securities regulator would probably have put a damper on the Dodgers' playoff chase this summer.  Here's more out of the NL West..

  • One GM tells Peter Gammons of (via Twitter) that word is the Dodgers are prepared to offer Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez something in the neighborhood of $50MM over five years and if they do, he'll wind up in L.A.  Recently we learned that the the Phillies, Blue Jays, and Braves are now in the mix for Gonzalez along with the Cubs, Dodgers, Rangers, and Red Sox, who have all been showing serious interest in his services for quite some time.
  • Giants outfielder Hunter Pence is likely to remain with San Francisco through the end of the season, Jon Heyman of writes.  The Giants have a stronger bond with Pence than the Phillies did when they sent him to San Francisco last July, as the right fielder delivered an inspirational speech that helped boost the Giants in last year's NLDS with the Reds.  Accordingly, the Giants would have to either drop out of the race or be overwhelmed by an offer to consider trading him.  However, he'd likely draw interest from the Pirates and several other clubs if the Giants decide to make him available.
  • The Dodgers bought the most talented team in the NL West, but that doesn't mean that they'll finish first, opines Troy Renck of the Denver Post.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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