Ex-star pitcher re-bids on bankrupt baseball team

DETROIT (Reuters) - A group led by former all-star pitcher Nolan Ryan and a minor league baseball team owner made a new bid to buy the bankrupt Texas Rangers in a move that would block an auction for the Major League Baseball team set for next week.

The Rangers' bankruptcy court-appointed chief restructuring officer, William Snyder, said at a court hearing on Friday that he supports the new offer, according to a person who attended the hearing by telephone.

The source did not want to be identified because of this person's proximity to the sale process.

Snyder did not offer details, the person said. The new bid would entail canceling the auction, Snyder said, according to this person.

The hearing where Snyder made his remarks was in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Rangers filed for bankruptcy protection in May, hoping to sell the team for $570 million to a group led by Ryan, the team's president, and Chuck Greenberg, a Pittsburgh lawyer who owns minor league baseball teams.

However, the creditors, which declared Rangers owner Hicks Sports Group in default on $525 million in loans in April 2009, have fought the process, arguing the Ryan-Greenberg offer was not the highest and the deal did not give them enough money.

Meanwhile, others are circling the Rangers, looking to possibly bid on a team competing for a playoff spot.

A lawyer for some of the lenders opposed to the auction's terms said at the Friday hearing that his clients would provide financing for a group led by Mark Cuban, owner of the National Basketball Association team the Dallas Mavericks, if he bids, the source said.

The case is In re: Texas Rangers Baseball Partners, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas, No. 10-43400.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Robert MacMillan)