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Cleveland Guardians owner Paul Dolan and his family have owned Cleveland’s major league franchise … [+] for 21 years, the longest ownership run in franchise history. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
What would having a new minority owner do for the Cleveland Guardians? Well, the last time Cleveland owner Paul Dolan took on a minority owner, it was John Sherman, in December of 2016. In January of 2017, shortly after Sherman, and his money, arrived, the then-Indians signed free agent Edwin Encarnacion to a three-year $60 million contract. The signing of Encarnacion following the arrival of Sherman, and his money, was not a coincidence.
Nor was what followed two years later. In 2019, Sherman divested himself from minority ownership in Cleveland in order to eventually buy the Kansas City Royals later that year. But not before the quick-thinking Indians avoided the $21 million they owed Encarnacion, in the third and final year of his contract. They dodged that financial bullet, by trading Encarnacion prior to the 2019 season.
At the time, Encarnacion’s deal was the biggest free agent signing in Guardians/Indians history. Five years later, it’s still the biggest free agent signing in franchise history, and that figures to be the case at least until Dolan either sells the team or finds another minority owner.
Currently, the latter seems more likely than the former.
Dolan recently confirmed that there have been…