The Rangers won't be auctioned, would they?

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I get the shakes if I don’t write something about the Rangers sale for more than 48 hours or so and right now I’m jonesin’ hard, so I’ll even settle for linking to Heyman:

The snag in the Texas Rangers’ sale talks appears fairly serious. Two
sources say they believe the banks are looking for $50 million more.
They are unlikely to cut Rangers owner Tom Hicks any slack,
either, as he’s been slow to pay back his debts. One possibility if this
deal falls through might be to auction off the team.

This comes in a notes column and doesn’t have much more context than that so it’s hard to say if Heyman has heard something new or just going off of the reports from early last week about the latest creditor objections.  Either way, his reference to an auction of the team is something I’ve never seen anyone say before.

And while it’s a possibility, it doesn’t strike me as a realistic possibility. If someone involved in the current negotiations decides that a total impasse has been reached aren’t there less-intrusive options?  For one thing, Greenberg-Ryan could simply go back to the drawing board with a new proposal that bypasses Hicks in some important way or otherwise makes the creditors happy in ways that Hicks can’t seem to now. Also, might it not be possible for the guys who were interested before — Jim Crane or Dennis Gilbert — to get back into this thing?  Reports had each of them with some important advantages back in December, with some people saying that Crane’s offer was the richest and others saying that Gilbert was favored by Major League Baseball.

All of that is speculation, of course — I have no idea if Crane or Gilbert are even interested any more or if there’s some procedural reason why Greenberg and Ryan couldn’t simply start over — but those options all seem more likely and less disastrous for all involved than some auction or bankruptcy gambit that the creditors have been barking about in recent weeks.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.