U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross approved the Los Angeles Dodgers' settlement with Fox Sports and Major League Baseball today, according to the Los Angeles Times, which should pave the way for the inevitable sale of the franchise by owner Frank McCourt.
Through a series of legal battles with his now ex-wife and Major League Baseball, McCourt, who lost financial control of his team early last season, has agreed to sell the Dodgers before April 30, 2012. The television deal signed with Fox Sports is believed to improve the franchise value of the Dodgers. According to the Los Angeles Times, some expect the Dodgers to demand a price above the $845 million paid for the Chicago Cubs in 2009.
Several well-known sports figures have already emerged as potential suitors for the team. Former Los Angeles Lakers mega-star and part-owner Magic Johnson has joined a potential ownership group with former Washington Nationals president Stan Kasten. Joe Torre also recently left his post at Major League Baseball to join an ownership group that wishes to make a bid for the Dodgers. The team also boasts several major one-the-field entities that could be marketable to a potential ownership group. Matt Kemp, who last season narrowly missed out on winning the National League Triple Crown, was just signed to a long-term contract extension. The club also has the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, Clayton Kershaw, under club control for several more seasons.