Report: Bids for Dodgers down to four

Major League Baseball is expected to eliminate two additional groups bidding on the Los Angeles Dodgers, then will send the final four groups to a vote of all 30 teams, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

The groups being denied are one being headed by the Disney family and Shamrock Holdings President & CEO Stanley Gold, and one by led by F1 Grand Prix of America Exec Chair Leo Hindery and Colony Capital Founder, Chair & CEO Tom Barrack. Beverly Hills real estate developer Alan Casden was rejected as a candidate to a day earlier.

A group that includes former Nationals and Braves president Stan Kasten and basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson remains alive in the process. Forbes Magazine reported Tuesday that the Kasten-Johnson bid “is the highest for now, at $1.6 billion, with each of the other three bids worth at least $1.3 billion.”

   –Barring injury, the Dodgers will open the season with Javy Guerra as closer and Kenley Jansen as the primary setup man. There is no closer controversy, at least not yet.

Jansen last season, just his second full season after a pitcher after converting from catcher, set a major league record by striking out 16.1 batters per nine innings. Jansen put up a 2.85 ERA and allowed just two runs over his final 31 appearances of the season.

Guerra wasn’t as flashy, but did put up a 2.38 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 47 innings, and he converted 21 of 23 save opportunities, earning him the closer role heading into 2012.

Not that manager Don Mattingly didn’t think about switching the roles of his two bullpen studs.

“It’s hard not to (think about it) with those two. But Javy took on that role and didn’t drop the ball all year,” Mattingly said. “I don’t know what the right decision is, but this is a good problem to have. I like what those two have said, that they are approaching this like if we get to the eighth inning the game is over.”

No matter their respective roles, the Dodgers bullpen will likely need both Guerra and Jansen to be effective if they are to contend in the National League West.