Tuesday is the day in which teams and players will exchange salary figures for arbitration, so for the Dodgers that means Chad Billingsley, James Loney, and Hong-Chih Kuo are close to new contracts. If recent history is any guide, those three will be signed to new deals by Tuesday, rather than go through with an arbitration hearing. So, while we wait for these deals to get done, here are some links for a Saturday:
Fox Advances Frank McCourt Cash
Bill Shaikin (now on Twitter, by the way) of the Los Angeles Times has been all over the McCourt divorce story and how it affects the Dodgers. He reported that the Dodgers got a cash advance from Fox, borrowing money against their current TV deal, to cover current operating expenses. The key excerpt here is this:
It is unclear whether the cash advance indicates the Dodgers are in immediate financial peril, but a sports industry consultant said the timing was curious, given that team expenses are lower out of season than during the season.
There is a lot of unknown information here. It is concerning that if the Dodgers are having trouble paying expenses now, how will they make ends meet during the season, when player salaries need to be paid. Then again, revenue is likely much higher during the season as well.
Also, Shaikin gave us the details for the Fox television deal, that the Dodgers will receive $35 million in 2011, $37 million in 2012, and $39 million in 2013. That's good information to have going forward as a baseline for a new TV deal going forward. Keep in mind that the Texas Rangers this offseason signed a 20-year deal with Fox Sports Southwest worth a reported $80 million per season. However, the Rangers offer their full schedule to Fox Sports Southwest, compared to the Dodgers, who have roughly one third of their games on KCAL.
"He had voluntarily retired with us, so he was still in our organization," [Dodgers VP of Communications Josh] Rawitch said. "He accepted a minor league coaching job in another organization, so we had to activate him and release him (per MLB) so he could sign his staff contract."
Dodger Night At Staples Center
The Dodgers announced Friday that Tuesday, June 14 against the Reds will be Hong-Chih Kuo Bobblehead Night at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers have six bobblehead giveaways this season: Clayton Kershaw (May 17), Don Mattingly (June 1), Kuo (June 14), Andre Ethier (July 7), Fernando Valenzuela (July 26), and TBD (August 9).