Alex Rodriguez objects to Texas Rangers' auction over repayment to former players

Published July 29, 2010

| Associated Press

Alex Rodriguez filed an objection to aspects of next week's auction of the Texas Rangers, saying he and other former players may not get the millions owed them.

Rodriguez is due $24.9 million in deferred compensation six years after he was traded to the New York Yankees, and he tops the list of the unsecured creditors in the Rangers' bankruptcy case.

Rodriguez's concerns will not be an issue if the team is sold to a group led by Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and sports attorney Chuck Greenberg, who are Major League Baseball's preferred buyers. Their $575 million bid includes paying the full $204 million owed to A-Rod and other unsecured creditors.

But under the bidding procedures set for Wednesday's auction, other potential buyers can decide which provisions to include in their offers.

"Out of an abundance of caution, Rodriguez files this limited objection due to potential uncertainties" about other bidders' plans, his lawyer, Joseph Wielebinski, wrote in a motion filed Wednesday.

Wielebinski did not immediately return a call to The Associated Press seeking comment.

In another motion filed this week, the Major League Baseball Players Association said it supports the Rangers' sale as long as the new owner pays what is owed to the team's current and former players, a provision in baseball's collective bargaining agreement.

"We have no reason right now to doubt that any of the prospective buyers would consider anything else, but we need to preserve all of the players' legal rights," union lawyer David Prouty said.

The team filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May with a plan to repay creditors $75 million and sell the club to the Greenberg-Ryan group, whose deal had been stalled by angry creditors for months after the team announced that group as the buyer.

Lenders and the court-appointed restructuring officer repeatedly argued that the Greenberg-Ryan bid was not the highest and called for an auction, which the judge approved.

Potential bidders include Houston businessman Jim Crane and Dallas investor Jeff Beck, both involved in the previous bid process. Billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was still reviewing documents and considering whether to bid, his attorney said.

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AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.

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http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2010/07/29/alex-rodriguez-objects-texas-rangers-auction-repayment-players/