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Battle on between Ryan, Cuban over Rangers

FORT WORTH, Texas — The bidding war over the Rangers heated up Wednesday as Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan's group offered $2 million more than Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's group, which then upped the ante by $15 million, to about $335 million in cash.

When the auction in bankruptcy court started Wednesday afternoon, a Rangers attorney said Cuban's group, which includes Houston businessman Jim Crane, had the highest starting bid. The Cuban-Crane bid was about $25 million more than the $520 million bid, including $307 million in cash, submitted by a group led by Ryan and sports attorney Chuck Greenberg.

About two hours later, the Greenberg-Ryan group's attorney, Thomas Lauria, said his group was bidding $2 million more than the cash portion, about $318 million, of the Cuban-Crane group's offer.

Then Clifton Jessup, a Cuban-Crane attorney, immediately stood up and said his group was bidding another $15 million for a total of about $335 million in cash, also raising that total bid to about $560 million.

Lauria said the Greenberg-Ryan group needed time to review the new high bid and get clarification on some issues. Bidding was expected to resume later Wednesday, and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Russell Nelms has said he was willing to work through the night.

The unusual auction had been delayed about six hours because team attorneys said they were trying to determine the values of each proposal.

COGHLAN MIGHT RETURN: The Marlins are optimistic that Chris Coghlan, the former East Lake standout, will return this season after tearing the meniscus in his left knee during a bizarre accident. Coghlan hurt himself July 25 while delivering a pie to the face of teammate Wes Helms.

ZAMBRANO TO START: Cubs RHP Carlos Zambrano, who has made three relief appearances since being activated from the restricted list Friday, will start Monday night for the first time since June 25.

PHILS ADD BAT: Philadelphia, staggered by the loss of All-Star 1B Ryan Howard, acquired veteran 1B/DH Mike Sweeney from the Mariners for a player to be named or cash.

A'S: Closer Andrew Bailey, on the disabled list since July 30 with a right rib strain, played catch from 60 feet. There is no timetable for when the right-hander will throw off the mound.

BLUE JAYS: C John Buck will go on the 15-day disabled list today after leaving the game against the Yankees with a cut right thumb, sustained when he was hit by Alex Rodriguez's foul tip. C J.P. Arencibia, a 2007 first-round pick who leads the Pacific Coast League with 31 homers, had his contract purchased from Triple-A Las Vegas.

BRAVES: RHP Kris Medlen suffered a potentially serious right elbow injury in his start against the Mets. The team said Medlen injured his ulnar collateral ligament and is scheduled for an MRI exam today.

CARDINALS: RH reliever Jason Motte went on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained shoulder two days after he complained of irritation during an outing.

ROCKIES: 3B Melvin Mora left the game against the Giants after getting hit in the left knee by a pitch from Denny Bautista in the fifth inning.

TIGERS: 3B Brandon Inge, expected to miss up to six weeks after breaking his left hand July 19, was activated from the disabled list.

Battle on between Ryan, Cuban over Rangers 08/04/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 10:27pm]
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