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Dodgers have many worries, but insider trading is not one of them

November 04, 2013|By Bill Shaikin
  • Steven Cohen was runner-up in the bidding process to buy the Dodgers.
Steven Cohen was runner-up in the bidding process to buy the Dodgers. (Ronda Churchill / Bloomberg…)

As the first full week of the off-season dawns, the Dodgers have their fair share of concerns.

Can Dodgers President Stan Kasten make peace with Manager Don Mattingly? Can the Dodgers and ace Clayton Kershaw agree on the contract extension that would buy out his free agency next fall? Can the Dodgers outbid the rest of the major league for Japanese star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka? And are the Dodgers rebuilding their minor league system primarily so they have prospects to acquire such stars as Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price?

None of those questions have easy answers, but they all are preferable to this one: How would the Dodgers be affected when the owner's company pleads guilty to charges of insider trading and pays a fine of $1.2 billion?

That is what could have happened had hedge-fund titan Steven A. Cohen been winner rather than runner-up in last year's bidding for the Dodgers. Cohen's firm, SAC Capital Advisors, is expected to make that guilty plea on Monday, and with it pay the largest fine assessed in an insider-trading case.

Prosecutors filed the charges against Cohen's firm. Cohen was not named as one of the defendants.

Cohen is selling about $80 million worth of fine art this week, according to the New York Times. His advisors say the sale is unrelated to the insider-trading plea and fine. Nonetheless, the Dodgers winter would be unsettling if fans had to wonder whether the owner might be selling off expensive baseball players too.

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