With ownership of the Dodgers set to change hands in 11 days, Commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday that Major League Baseball is working to learn more about the sale but is not trying to stop it.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved the sale last week, despite complaints from MLB attorney Thomas Lauria that the league had not gotten a fair opportunity to review the transaction. Attorneys from MLB and Guggenheim Baseball, the new ownership group fronted by Magic Johnson and incoming team President Stan Kasten, have met with a court-appointed mediator this week in an effort to resolve the league's concerns.
Selig said the league still is unclear about the financial structure of the ownership group and the arrangement for a joint venture on the Dodger Stadium parking lots involving Guggenheim and outgoing team owner Frank McCourt.
"We’re making progress," Selig said in speaking to a group of sports editors in New York.
In exchange for getting McCourt to sell the Dodgers, the league let him have the final say in selecting the new owner. In approving the sale, the court essentially told MLB to live by its agreement with McCourt.However, Selig said the issues raised by Lauria have not been resolved to the league's satisfaction."We have very specific ownership procedures," he said. "The owners of a franchise, who they are, how much they are in for.… There are a lot of questions that Tom Lauria raised. We're working to clear up those things." The Guggenheimgroup agreed to pay $2.15 billion for the Dodgers, a record price for a sports franchise and roughly two and a half times the previous record for an MLB team.
"I had a low and high price range in my mind," Selig said. "Let's just say it was at the high end."