LOS ANGELES -- Former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager and executive vice president Fred Claire has joined an investment group attempting to buy the Dodgers but said Thursday the group is still seeking the primary financial backer.
"I'm not going to mislead anybody," Claire said on 710 ESPNLA. "We have a lot of work to do as far as raising the capital. This is an enormous amount of money and I think, ultimately, the overall structure of the group and the leader of the group who is going to be there at the owner's table when it comes down to one representative per club is going to be a very significant person. And we are hopeful of identifying such a person and having the capital to be prepared to make our case."
The group currently includes Ben Hwang, a former executive at an international biotechnology company and a onetime Dodgers batboy, and Andy Dolich, a former executive for the Oakland Athletics, San Francisco 49ers, Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies.
Claire said he believed the team would be sold soon and that, if his group was able to secure enough capital, it would be in position to compete with two other groups that have stepped up -- one led by former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley and another led by Dodgers greats Orel Hershiser and Steve Garvey.
"We will have to be pre-approved by Major League Baseball and I think the team we have assembled is one that will draw the favor of Major League Baseball," Claire said. "With my 30 years of experience with the Dodgers, Andy Dolich, a longtime sports executive in baseball and other sports and Ben Hwang, a very success business person at a young age, we will continue to add to that team."
Claire, who was the Dodgers' general manager when the team last won the World Series in 1988 and left the club in 1998 after Fox orchestrated the trade of Mike Piazza to the Florida Marlins against his wishes, believes that simply the fact that the Dodgers are for sale and many familiar faces from the team's storied past have stepped forward to be a part of new ownership groups is good news for the much-maligned team.
"I think the best news for the Dodgers is that there are a number of groups with great, great interest in the Dodgers, and that's my primary motivation in being involved is to have the Dodgers placed in the best hands possible," Claire said. "The overall state of the Dodgers now is one of good news and there will be better news to come."
Arash Markazi is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.