1:51 AM: Just a quick update here. As Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported just moments ago, the group led by Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg won the auction. They out-lasted several massive over-bids by Mark Cuban and stepped up with a $385 million cash offer early Thursday morning. Great stuff by Andro and Co.
4:05 PM: Daniel Kaplan of SBJ reports that the review of the initial bids in the Texas Rangers auction is finally over (they’ve been in court all day) and get this: Mark Cuban and Jim Crane have “the highest and best bid” by $25 million.
Per some complicated legal business this morning, the Greenberg-Ryan group will now get some time — maybe some hours, maybe until tomorrow — to come back and top that bid. And they have to do it by $2 million to stay in the game.
That is, if they don’t make up their own rules. Minutes after the bidding was announced, Greenberg and Ryan’s lawyers (a) asked for more time; and (b) said that they’d attempt to block Cuban and Crane’s bid from being accepted via appeal and maybe some other legal action. So that’s nice. There’s also the distinct possibility — again, per Greenberg’s lawyer — that Major League Baseball may take up to nine months to approve Cuban and Crane as owners, which they argue would practically lower the real value of Cuban and Crane’s bid.
There will obviously be tons of twists and turns in the next few hours, let alone the next few weeks, so this doesn’t mean that Cuban and Crane will wind up owning the team. But it does mean that for them not to it will mean that either Greenberg and Ryan will (a) have to come up with a ton more money; or (b) convince Major League Baseball and/or a court of law that the most valuable offer for the Texas Rangers should not actually get the team.