Baseball team on the auction block

There is no live baseball tonight, with MLB players still enjoying the All-Star break, but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be any action off the field.

The Texas Rangers’ bankruptcy case has taken a couple of twists, and that could lead to the team being up for auction as soon as early August.

One of the stumbling points was whether the team could properly be sold to the second highest bidder. Major League Baseball, which likes to keep tight control over who owns their franchises, backed that procedure, which would have given them veto power over the top bidder, but the creditors predictably howled like a stuck pig.

It appears that the judge has sort of split the baby; he’s allowing a second-high bid to potentially stand, but forcing the leading bidders — a group that includes rubber-armed fireballer and former Texas Ranger Nolan Ryan — to come up with an opening “stalking horse” bid by August 4th. The judge also determined that any later bids must be raised in at least $20M dollar increments.

The Rangers are the only MLB team in bankruptcy; they also have the largest division lead of any team at the All-Star break, have recently traded with the Mariners for pitching ace Cliff Lee, and are in town to play the Red Sox at Fenway Park starting Thursday night.

 

By Doug Beaton

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