Creditors reject Greenberg's latest offer

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Chuck Greenberg keeps telling everyone who will listen that there’s nothing to worry about, the sale of the Rangers will close by April 1, and all will be happy and sunshine. Events on the ground, however, continue to make such a scenario less and less likely. According to Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Daily:

Hicks Sports Group creditors late last week again turned down terms for the
sale of the Rangers, continuing to throw into question when the ballclub will
be sold, sources said.

To review, under terms of the initial deal, the creditors were to get $230 million in cash. They want $300 million and have at least claimed that they’d throw the team into bankruptcy court in order to get it.  Now, to be fair, the odds of actually collecting that amount in bankruptcy court are rather small, and that’s before you even figure in the legal fees and hassle. But that’s the posture anyway, and each time Greenberg has attempted to get the deal done, they’ve said no dice.

Last week’s back and forth had Greenberg upping the offer to $240 million or $275 million depending on who you believe (the $275 million figure was supposed to contain deferred money).  $30-$60 million ain’t hay, so it’s not like you can expect the creditors to simply say “ah, screw it, let’s just round down” any more than you can expect Greenberg to simply say “ah screw it, I’ll just write you a check to get it done.”

This doesn’t mean Greenberg doesn’t end up with the Rangers at some point. It does, however, yet again, render the rosy “every little thing gonna be alright” jazz he’s been peddling since December increasingly silly.  Deals of this size get derailed over far less than $60 million, and even if they end up going through, a difference in that amount can utterly destroy the timeline.

Upshot: there’s a very real possibility that the Rangers may spend another season, or at least a good chunk of it, in the same kind of financial limbo they were in last year. A year in which they had to beg MLB for loans.

Tom Ricketts says the Cubs don’t have any more money

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Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.

First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.

More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:

The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.