Texas Rangers step closer to exiting bankruptcy

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers are stepping closer to getting out of federal bankruptcy protection.

Just hours after a marathon auction of the team, a hearing began Thursday to go over the team’s bankruptcy plan. If a judge signs off as expected, it will clear the way for Major League Baseball to formally approve a group led by Hall of Fame pitcher and Rangers president Nolan Ryan as the new owner next week.

Top creditors who had stalled the sale say they no longer oppose the plan because the auction resulted in a higher price for the Rangers. And the court-appointed restructuring officer is backing the plan after earlier objections.

Ryan and sports attorney Chuck Greenberg won a showdown with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban for the AL West-leading Rangers. Court documents say the winning bid is valued at $590 million.

Cuban and Houston businessman Jim Crane’s bid was valued at $581 million, discounted some $17 million because of deductions and a breakup fee of $10 million to $13 million that would have gone to Greenberg-Ryan had they lost.