Judge’s Ruling Could Limit Rangers’ Summer Moves

5:25pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com tweets that the Rangers are "not totally discouraged by [the] judge's ruling."  In that tweet and a follow-up, Rosenthal said the judge noted the importance of the trade deadline and doesn't want the situation "to drag past [July 31]."  The ruling was intended to get both sides back into negotiations and a "mediator-type could be appointed." 

2:51pm: A federal judge ruled that Tom Hicks can't sell the Rangers without satisfying his creditors, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. That could slow down the team's sale and prevent the Rangers from adding significant salary this summer. The Rangers should be able to add some payroll even if the judge's ruling slows down the ownership transfer, but the club may be unable to add expensive players.

Baseball executives believe the judge's decision will limit the Rangers' trade options this summer, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (all Twitter links). One executive told Olney that "the Rangers can forget about Roy Oswalt, and maybe just about any other major player." Jon Heyman of SI.com agrees, saying (via Twitter) that Oswalt is not going to Texas. Rival teams bristle at the idea of the Rangers spending big while under MLB support.

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10 Comments on "Judge’s Ruling Could Limit Rangers’ Summer Moves"

5 years 2 months ago

Its a shame, the Rangers are totally getting screwed.

5 years 2 months ago

Whatever happened to owners getting the Charlie O’Finley treatment treatment? That is, pretty much tossed out of baseball head 1st and iron fisted commissioners that actually put the good of the game 1st in Bowie Kuhn?

Now have laughing stock ownerships in Texas, flat broke and trying to stay in power like Hicks and stay in the new ownership group that they already have destroyed the old one in. teams in Miami, Tampa, Pittsburgh, San Diego just to name a few where few bother to show up and need to be flat out folded and a ex owner of another laughing stock Milwaukee franchise spewing useless rubbish on a daily basis regarding every thing, except how bad off the long term prospects of several teams are and trying to get tax payers to fund 400M+ plus concrete eye sores for these financial burdens.

It’s time for the Steinbrenner and henry type owners to step up and rally some support to correct this mess, cause it’s getting really bad and really fast.

5 years 2 months ago

Well even better Tom Hicks still screwing the Rangers! He is the worst owner ever.

5 years 2 months ago

This is completely and utterly ridiculous. As a Ranger fan it is so frustrating knowing that your team is in contention and could make some serious splash this trade season but now we can’t do a thing because Tom Hicks. This should make Bud Selig ashamed.

5 years 2 months ago

this is a similar situation to the one that the Dodgers are in, what with the McCourt divorce and everything. both teams could become serious contender with an Oswalt or Lee, but both teams likely have no shot to acquire them.

5 years 2 months ago

What is this, catch 22? Hicks not allowed to sell the Rangers to raise money to pay creditors until he pays the creditors first??? Well, the judge just took the Rangers out of the trade market this year and probably pushed the sale of the team back a year unless MLB is willing to pay off Hicks creditors and then repay themselves with the sale of the club to the Ryan group. If MLB has to rescue this deal for Hicks then they need to cut him completely out of any deal…no minority ownership for this bankrupt idiot.

There isn’t any real payroll the Rangers can add that would be worth it. Seems like the only way any deal will really get done before the deadline is to throw a ton of top prospects at a trade partner like the Mariners or Astros and beg them to pay the traded player’s contract in full. Of course, the East Coast rich teams like the Red Sox and Yankees will cry foul because they can afford to pay up front. The cost of the entire Rangers sale is like just a couple of years of the Yankees annual payroll.

5 years 2 months ago

The judge didn’t say he had to pay the creditors; he said he had to satisfy them.

Obviously, what the creditors WANT is 100%; they don’t want to lose money. But that ship may have sailed in the same way that the housing bubble bursting left so many people with mortgages higher than their homes’ value. They will not recover 100%. These creditors WILL be losing money.

That doesn’t mean they have to settle for something they do not feel is the best possible offer, however. Offering them $1 because it’s more than $0 from bankruptcy is laughable so long as there is somebody willing to pay $2. I don’t know the specific numbers being thrown around for the sale of the team, but all the bankruptcy judge is saying is “the creditors have to agree it’s a fair sale price.”

It’s really not Tom Hicks’ team anymore once he filed bankruptcy. It’s a company asset, and those assets can be sold off to pay as substantial a portion as possible of outstanding debts to creditors. The banks won’t sign off if they think there’s a better deal out there.

Does it screw the Rangers? Yeah, it does. The judge doesn’t care, nor should he. His job is to ensure the creditors get as much of their money back as possible. It’s a bitter pill for the fans to swallow, but hey — it eventually leads to Tom Hicks being out as the majority stakeholder. That’s something to look forward to.

5 years 2 months ago

How about Cliff Lee to the Rangers and the M’s pay his salary? As an M’s fan, the Rangers are the only other team in the AL West I can stomach. I would love to watch Texas put up a real fight in the playoffs, (and keep the Angels O-U-T). Of course the Rangers would have to pay dearly…

5 years 2 months ago

I was browsing through the court document when I found this key passage.

“Because the Lenders and the Rangers Equity Owners are impaired, the Plan, even as modified on June 17, cannot be confirmed on the basis that no class of creditors or equity owners is impaired. Moreover, while the impairment of the Lenders may be cured, without significant changes to the Plan, that of the Rangers Equity Owners cannot be avoided and they must be allowed to elect whether to accept or reject the Plan. In making that election, the Rangers Equity Owners will have to seek court approval, acting in their fiduciary capacities outside the ordinary course of business.”

The key word is because. Because the lenders are impaired, they have a veto. If a new plan is constructed so they are no longer impaired, then they would not get a veto. I bet this is what Rosenthal is commenting on.

5 years 2 months ago

Also, Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant has a post quoting a Dow Jones report. It says the ruling means that the Rangers will have to make minor changes, but that the sale will still go through.

link to rangersblog.dallasnews.com