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Major League Baseball rejects Alan Casden as Dodgers' bidder

Beverly Hills developer is not among the six parties to meet with Commissioner Bud Selig and 14 owners Monday. League is expected to notify Frank McCourt next week about its approval of bidders.

March 12, 2012|By Bill Shaikin
  • Real estate developer Alan Casden
Real estate developer Alan Casden (Los Angeles Times )

Reporting from Phoenix — Alan Casden has been rejected by Major League Baseball as a candidate to buy the Dodgers, reducing the field of bidders to six.

Casden, a Beverly Hills real estate developer, was not invited to Monday's meetings of Dodgers bidders and two committees of major league owners.

The six parties still in the running each met for about a half-hour with Commissioner Bud Selig and 14 owners, representing the MLB executive council and ownership committee.

"They all made excellent presentations," said Atlanta Braves chairman emeritus Bill Bartholomay, the chairman of the ownership committee. "The one thing they had in common was a love for the Dodgers.

"They have a great future. I've been in the game 50 years, and the Dodgers are the Dodgers."

The six bidders at the meetings included the three widely considered as front-runners: hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen and longtime agent Arn Tellem; St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke; and veteran baseball executive Stan Kasten and Guggenheim Partners chief executive Mark Walter. (Magic Johnson, who is a partner with Kasten and Guggenheim, was unable to attend because of a scheduling conflict.)

New York media investor Leo Hindery, Los Angeles civic leader and investor Stanley Gold, and the duo of Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley and Los Angeles investor Tony Ressler also participated in the interviews.

Frank McCourt, the Dodgers' outgoing owner, has the ability to appeal Casden's rejection to a court-appointed mediator. Dodgers spokesman Robert Siegfried declined to comment.

McCourt has told people familiar with the sale process that he might introduce new bidders in the coming week. MLB has completed an expedited investigation of the current bidders and would probably ask the mediator to reject any new bidders at this late date, the people said.

MLB is expected to conduct of a vote of all 30 owners and notify McCourt next week which bidders have been approved.

McCourt has agreed to select the winning bidder by April 1 and complete the sale of the Dodgers by April 30, the date he must pay $131 million to his ex-wife in a divorce settlement.

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

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