Ruling nullifies divorce settlement reached last week by owners Frank and Jamie McCourt
Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig on Monday rejected a proposed $385 million deal between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Fox, nullifying a key component of last week's divorce settlement between owners Frank and Jamie McCourt.
By rejecting the proposed contract, Selig effectively gave McCourt two choices: Give up the team or sue.
The divorce agreement was dependent on Selig approving the long-term television contract with Fox.
"I cannot approve the club's proposed transaction with Fox," Selig said in a written statement. "This proposed transaction with Fox would not be in the best interests of the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise, the game of baseball and the millions of loyal fans of this historic club."
The commissioner wrote that the deal would divert Dodgers assets "for the personal needs of Mr. McCourt," and that "such a diversion of assets would have the effect of mortgaging the future of the franchise to the long-term detriment of the club and its fans."
The deal would have given the Dodgers an immediate $385 million, but as much as $173.5 million of that would have been earmarked for the McCourts and their lawyers.
Without the deal, it's unclear how McCourt will make the team's June 30 payroll. If the payroll isn't met, Selig can put the Dodgers up for sale.
In the written statement, Selig wrote that "we owe it to the legion of loyal Dodger fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future. This transaction would not accomplish these goals."