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Joe Torre, Rick Caruso drop bid to buy LA Dodgers

Dodger Stadium

February 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Joe Torre and Rick Caruso have dropped their combined bid to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Baseball team, it was announced Thursday.

Torre, a former manager of the club, and Caruso confirmed to Eyewitness News Thursday afternoon they are no longer seeking to buy the team.

The team's future has been uncertain ever since the owners, Frank and Jamie McCourt, filed for divorce and disputed the ownership of the Dodgers.

A judge granted a Frank McCourt request to file for bankruptcy and to sell the team.

Torre and Caruso were one of several groups interested in purchasing the team.

Other interested buyers include former Dodgers greats such as ex-players Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser.

Former CNN host Larry King is also a minor player in another bid group. And the powerfully led Magic Johnson investment team is also interested in owning a piece of the team.

Former owner Frank McCourt paid $430 million for the Dodgers in 2004 but is expected to sell the team for more than $1 billion. Some insiders predict that the team could even sell for up to $1.6 billion, shattering 2009 records when the Chicago Cubs were sold for $850 million.

Major League Baseball gets to review the list before an auction. From there, McCourt will have final say in the sale.

The sale is expected to be completed by April 30, but the Dodgers are hoping for the sale to be complete by early April.

April 30 is also the day that McCourt is set to pay $130 million to his ex-wife Jamie as part of their divorce settlement.

That included, Frank McCourt's total obligations could be near $1 billion. The Dodgers reported to a U.S. bankruptcy court the team is $573 million in debt. McCourt is also obligated to pay another $200 million in taxes.

The Dodger Stadium parking lots are not included in the initial assets offered, but they could be negotiated in.