Joe Torre on Wednesday resigned from his management position in Major League Baseball's front office to join with billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso’s group to try to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The move by the 71-year-old Torre, who led the New York Yankees to four World Series wins and went on to manage the Dodgers from 2008 through 2010, raises the profile of Caruso’s bid for the Dodgers.
"I have great confidence in Rick Caruso's unique qualifications and his ability to lead a successful bid for the Los Angeles Dodgers," said Torre said in a statement. "In Rick I found a partner who understands consumers and fully appreciates that the Dodgers are a treasured L.A. institution.”
Since February, Torre has been MLB’s executive vice-president for baseball operations. If the Caruso group’s bid were successful, Torre likely would not return as manager but might oversee the Dodgers' baseball operations.
“Joe has a proven track record of fielding winning teams and I am looking forward to our group benefiting from his unique experience,” said Caruso in a statement. “Joe and I believe in the Dodgers and Dodger fans and know that together we will foster a winning culture and deliver a premier, fan-focused baseball experience at Dodger Stadium."
Caruso is president of Caruso Affiliated and developer of The Grove and Americana at Brand shopping malls, among others. Caruso also has been considered a potential mayoral candidate, but has not announced his intentions.
Initial bids for the Dodgers are due by Jan. 23, and will be vetted by the Blackstone Group, Frank McCourt's investment banker. Others reportedly considering a bid include former L.A. Lakers star Magic Johnson, former Dodgers stars Orel Hershiser and Steve Garvey, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and Steven Cohen, manager of New York hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors.