Dodgers' bidders invited to meetings

NEW YORK -- Remaining bidders for the Dodgers are being invited to meetings with the team's management in Los Angeles.

A person familiar with one of the group's plans said its meeting had been scheduled for next week and the group will have the opportunity to ask questions and further investigate finances as it prepares for the second round of bidding.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the groups had been asked not to speak publicly.

Although no date has been set for the second round of bids, the person said it appears it will be around the start of March.

Current Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, who placed the team in bankruptcy last year, signed an agreement with Major League Baseball saying he would select the new owner by April and close a sale by April 30, which coincides with the date he is due to give former wife Jamie a $131 million divorce settlement.

Steven Cohen of the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors separately is in the process of buying a $20 million non-controlling share of the New York Mets, who are trying to raise $200 million to pay down debt. Cohen is one of the Dodgers' bidders and his investment in the Mets began before the Dodgers were put up for sale.

A Mets investment would not preclude him from buying a controlling stake in the Dodgers. Under baseball's rules, if he took over the Dodgers he eventually would have to sell the Mets shares.

His contemplated investment in the Mets was reported Wednesday by the Los Angeles Times.