This week’s court ruling, which basically invalidated a Marital Property Agreement (MPA) contested by divorced Los Angeles Dodgers owners Frank and Jaime McCourt, brings the former couple one step closer to possibly selling the team and opens the door to potential buyers waiting in the wings.
Frank had campaigned for months in court proceedings and mediation to uphold his version of the MPA, commonly known as the “Massachusetts MPA.” This document, signed by the former couple in 2004, asserts that the Dodgers and related interests belong to Frank only. Jaime had claimed in court that another version, the “California MPA,” which is fundamentally the same document with an attachment excluding the Dodgers from the couple’s division of assets, should stand instead.
At stake, essentially, is future ownership of the Dodgers. If Frank ultimately wins this fight, he retains sole ownership of the team and will likely keep the team for the long term, possibly to pass on to his children. If Jaime wins, she could win back her old position of CEO of the team, but with this couple’s history of animosity, it is more likely that they will end up selling the team.
On Wednesday, December 8, Judge Scott M. Gordon brought that closer to reality as he threw out the long-contested MPA, refusing to render either version viable. Under California’s community property laws, this ruling leaves Jaime with a good chance of owning half of all marital assets, including the Dodgers. With a litigious couple like the McCourts, however, this battle is far from over, and Frank intends to take his fight back to court.
In the meantime, those interested in buying a Dodgers team up for sale have been waiting for their best opportunity to make a move, and this week, Steve Garvey saw his. The eight-time Dodgers All-Star, at work in the team’s marketing and community relations departments in recent years, announced on the day following the ruling that he has put together an investor group willing to bid on the team should it be available for sale.
This is the third time that Garvey has made an offer on the Dodgers since April of this year, the first two times suggesting his group provide what he called a “cash infusion” to the franchise. The first of these offers was ignored by McCourt, and the second rejected outright.
In response to Garvey’s latest overture, a team spokesman noted that the team was not for sale and that Frank McCourt intends to keep the Dodgers a family interest.
Garvey is not the only buyer expressing interest in the Dodgers. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has discussed his interest in the past, but at this time he’s not making an offer. Others who reportedly may also be interested in the Dodgers include Milwaukee Brewers‘ owner, Mark Attanasio, Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner and Chicago White Sox executive assistant Dennis Gilbert.