The Los Angeles Dodgers may not have enough money to pay expenses at the end of May when paychecks to players are due, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Owner Frank McCourt was forced to borrow $30 million in April and that led Major League Baseball to appoint former ambassador Tom Schieffer to oversee Dodger finances.
McCourt is reportedly trying to push a deal through with FOX worth $3 billion in TV fees to the club. It also calls for a $285 million up-front payment. So far, Major League Commissioner Bud Selig has held up that deal.
The Associated Press, citing a person familiar with the team's finances, also reported that the team might not make their May payroll. The person said that if the Dodgers don't have the money, MLB would step in and make payroll.
"The fact that we had obligations coming due in 2011 was no surprise to us and no surprise to Major League Baseball,'' McCourt said in a statement to the AP. "We developed a plan which eventually became the Fox transaction. We've been working on that plan, in different versions, for the last six months. That is a transaction that is now completely negotiated, ready to be signed, and ready to be closed. It's the series of delays in allowing us to close this transaction that has created the problem here. Otherwise, there would be no problem here. My recent investment into the club was necessitated by the delay.''
Based on its opening-day payroll of $103.8 million, the Dodgers' payroll for its major league roster in the second half of May will be approximately $8.25 million. The figure includes 16 days salary, but not any signing bonus payments that happen to fall due.