Usually when you hear the word bankruptcy you assume that its a bad thing, but in the case of the Rangers sale to the Chuck Greenberg group, bankruptcy is great. The current owner Tom Hicks came to an agreement with Greenberg to sell the team last December for $575 million dollars. The only problem is Hicks owes about $525 million to different lenders.
The lenders that Hicks owes have been holding up the sale believing that there was a better offer out there. So after tough negotiations, Hicks finally realized the only way to get the Rangers sold was to declare bankruptcy. Since Hicks owes so much money, the creditors have been looking at the Texas Rangers as collateral or a way to get their money back. By filing bankruptcy the debt owed by Hicks Sports Group which is the owner of the Rangers, the Dallas Stars in the NHL and other sports ventures can be separated by the debt owed by the Rangers which is only about $75 million.
Unfortunately Tom Hicks used the Rangers as a pawn to bankroll other ventures and the people he owes for these ventures have also looked at the Rangers as a pawn to get their money back. Well…sucks for the people he owes, but everybody in the Rangers organization and Rangers fan deserve a better owner and this should push the sale process over the last hump and hopefully the Greenberg group can take over ownership before the All-Star break.
Since the Rangers announced that Greenberg and club president Nolan Ryan were going to take over the Rangers, its has been said that they had plans to increase the payroll. During the last year the Rangers have had to operate on a very limited budget, to the point that I remember one writer stating “the Rangers front office have to ask Commissioner Bud Selig for permission to go out to lunch on the Rangers.” We as Rangers fans deserve a better ownership than this and a higher payroll.
In my last post I mentioned the Rangers going after Roy Oswalt, the announcements from today give me somewhat more of a hope that it may happen, although the price in prospects may be to high. So far this season, April was somewhat rough for the Rangers, but May has been so much better for the Rangers and the club is excited about moving forward. Even to the point that before the Rangers boarded their charter flight to Kansas City they organized a team meeting at Love Field to announce the new developments in the sale. So if the Rangers continue to do well and are a contender before the trade deadline rolls around, they should be in the market to trade for a star player or two.
So hopefully the bankruptcy court will push the sale forward to the point where they team owners have to vote on the sale, which is expected to be a non-issue. Major League Baseball has considered seizing the team in order to stop the legal wrangling by Hicks Sports Group, although they still may fight they are probably not going to cause any problems and the sale should be done soon. This year is a year of transition for the Rangers, but honestly I am excited about this next off season to see who the Rangers new ownership with the higher payroll go after in the free agent market.