Court-appointed restructuring officer recommends the Rangers be auctioned off

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I love that this was sold as a “prepackaged” bankruptcy. If I bought something prepacked like this at the grocery store I’d take it to the manager and demand a refund. Danial Kaplan at SBD:

The Texas bankruptcy court appointed chief restructuring officer (CRO)
has decided an auction of the MLB Rangers should occur, multiple sources
tell SportsBusiness Journal . . . The sources said the CRO, William Snyder, has already informed MLB
President & COO Bob DuPuy and said league approval will not be a
criteria for deciding the best bid.

At the outset, note that this is only a recommendation. The court itself can ignore it and, instead, simply give the OK to the Rangers’ bankruptcy plan as-amended. I haven’t even close to the bankruptcy court experience to even pretend to guess at how likely it is that the court would act on the recommendation, rubber-stamp the plan, poop or go blind.

All we know for sure is that this news, combined with this morning’s information about the unsuccessful creditors being invited to next-week’s mediation, sets the stage for a rebidding if the judge agrees to go along with the recommendation.  A rebidding, Kaplan reports, that would not have “whether or not Major League Baseball likes you” as a criteria.

At which point it would be interesting to see what, if anything, Major League Baseball does about it. Because remember: MLB likes to pretend that it’s federally-created antitrust exemption allows it to accept or reject would-be team owners with impunity.  I assume that they’re not going to try and pull rank over a bankruptcy judge on this point — this sale is complicated enough already — but if they don’t, does it not put an end to the fiction that they can pick and choose new owners?

Oh well. Just another fun day in the sale that everyone insisted was a “done deal” back in January or whatever.

Athletics place Sean Manaea on disabled list with a left shoulder strain

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The Athletics placed left-hander Sean Manaea on the 10-day disabled list with a shoulder strain, according to a team announcement on Sunday. The move is retroactive to April 27, when Manaea was lifted from his last start after experiencing shoulder tightness. Manager Bob Melvin told reporters that he only expects Manea to miss one start during his stint on the DL, as the team is planning to utilize right-hander Sonny Gray in his place on Tuesday.

Manaea, 25, has yet to find his footing in his sophomore season with the Athletics. Over five starts, including his abbreviated outing against the Angels last Wednesday, the left-hander carries a 5.18 ERA, 3.28 FIP and 10.0 SO/9 through 24 1/3 innings. Even when healthy, control issues have spoiled some of his more dominant outings, doubling his walk rate per nine innings from the 2.2 BB/9 mark he posted during his rookie season in 2016.

With Manaea due back in the rotation by May 7, the A’s will eventually need to clear roster space to accommodate him. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle speculates that the decision could come down to right-handers Jesse Hahn and Jharel Cotton, though the team is still several days away from any formal announcement. Cotton has looked like two wildly different pitchers over his last five starts, tossing two-hit shutouts on his good days and getting shelled with 5-6 runs on his bad days. Hahn, meanwhile, has been a steadier presence in Oakland’s rotation, and his 2.08 ERA and eight-inning shutout should keep him in the majors a while longer, especially if he can replicate those results against the Astros on Sunday.

Noah Syndergaard refused an MRI for his sore biceps

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Mets’ right-hander Noah Syndergaard will take the hill on Sunday afternoon, just three days after he was scratched from a start due to right biceps tendinitis and shoulder discomfort. Syndergaard told reporters that he refused recommended medical testing on his arm because he felt “ready to go” after taking anti-inflammation medication and tossing a bullpen session on Friday. “I think I know my body best,” the right-hander said. “I’m pretty in tune with my body, and that’s exactly why I refused to take the MRI.”

It’s an unusual decision for a pitcher who has already succumbed to several serious arm issues, some as recent as last season, but as club GM Sandy Alderson told the New York Times’ James Wagner, the Mets aren’t in a position to force the issue.

This is a tense time for the Mets, whose lineup has been fraught with injuries of nearly every variety, from Yoenis Cespedes‘ hamstring issue to Steven Matz‘s elbow inflammation and David Wright‘s cervical disc herniation. Syndergaard’s setback last week didn’t appear too serious, but it would make sense for the team to take things slowly with their best still-healthy hurler. Instead, they’ll push forward on Sunday against the Nationals and hope that Syndergaard’s read on his biceps issue is an accurate one.

The 24-year-old righty is 1-1 through his first four starts of 2017 with a 1.73 ERA, 0.0 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 in 26 innings. He’s scheduled to make his first start against the Nationals on Sunday at 1:35 PM ET.