Baseball Blasts Dodgers-Highbridge Deal

Jul 13 2011 | 10:53am ET

Major League Baseball is firing back at the Los Angeles Dodgers, accusing the team of improperly paying hedge fund Highbridge Capital Management a $5.25 million commitment fee for a $150 million loan that the league is opposing.

Baseball said in a filing this week that the fee was not properly disclosed. Baseball has asked a federal bankruptcy court in Delaware to reject the Dodgers' deal with Highbridge in favor of its own financing, which it says comes at a lower cost to the team.

The Dodgers and MLB have been bickering in the courts since the team filed for bankruptcy in June. That move followed baseball Commissioner Bud Selig's rejection of a 17-year television deal for the Dodgers worth $3 billion. Much of those proceeds were to go to settling owner Frank McCourt's divorce with former Dodgers CEO Jamie McCourt.

Filing its own discovery request after the Dodgers' was rejected last week, MLB said it was "critical" to see all documents related to the Highbridge deal.

The Dodgers, not surprisingly, have a different take on the matter.

"MLB has been fully aware of the fee and the guarantee since the hearing on the first day of the Chapter 11 process," when the first $60 million in Highbridge financing was approved, Dodgers spokeswoman Lyndsey Estin said. "This knowledge is furthermore reflected in MLB's opposition motion, which it filed on July 6."

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