Cuban and Crane plan joint bid for Rangers: source

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Houston businessman Jim Crane plan to join together to bid for control of the Texas Rangers baseball team, in an auction for the team in a U.S. bankruptcy Court, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

No other details about the bid by Cuban and Crane were immediately known. Cuban and Crane could not be immediately reached for comment.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Fox Sports Networks, a division of News Corp, told Reuters that Fox will not be submitting a bid for ownership of the Texas Rangers.

"There will be no additional comment at this time," the spokesperson said.

The Rangers, currently fighting for a playoff spot, filed for bankruptcy protection in May in what was considered a procedural move to close a $570 million sale backed by the league to a group led by former all-star pitcher and current team president Nolan Ryan and Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg.

The Rangers' problems began long before that, however, when creditors declared owner Hicks Sports Group in default on $525 million in loans in April 2009.

Those creditors, led by distressed debt investor Monarch Alternative Capital LP and including JP Morgan Chase, have said the Ryan-Greenberg offer was not the highest and the deal did not give them enough money.

They have fought the Greenberg-Ryan deal from the start, pushing for the auction.

(Reporting by Michael Erman in New York and Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Writing by Ben Klayman; Editing by Lincoln Feast)