ARLINGTON -- Owner Tom Hicks' representatives continue on-going negotiations with Pittsburgh lawyer Chuck Greenberg over the possible sale of the Rangers. Greenberg and his partners were granted a 30-day exclusive negotiating period back on Dec. 15 that ends on Friday and one significant issue that remains is how big of a role Hicks will play in the new ownership group. But Hicks made it clear on Wednesday that he and his family will remain a significant investor in any new ownership group.
"You're not getting rid of us," Hicks told MLB.com at the Owners' Meetings in Phoenix on Wednesday. Greenberg heads a group of 12 investors that is negotiating to buy the team. Hicks will remain on board as one of the investors, according to the agreement reached on Dec. 15. He could be the second largest investor in the group and Greenberg has spent much time in Dallas of late trying to get the deal finished. Greenberg, who has not commented on the negotiations, is expected to take over as managing general partner. Nolan Ryan is also one of the investors and will remain as the club's president. It's still unknown what role Hicks will have. Word is the negotiations have been complicated. Hicks and his son, Tom Jr., met with Major League Baseball chief operating officer Bob DuPuy on Wednesday in Phoenix to update him on the progress of the sale. Hicks declined further comment until after the 30-day window has expired. That window, according to those involved in the negotiations, is not considered a hard and fast deadline although Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig have made it clear they are eager to get the Rangers situation resolved. Hicks announced last spring that he was looking for minority investors in the club to help retire or pay off substantial debt accumulated by Hicks Sports Group. He then announced that he would be willing to look for a buyer who could purchase either the entire team or controlling interest in the Rangers. Three groups stepped forward. Ryan aligned himself with Greenberg, an attorney who owns two Minor League teams and has helped negotiate previous sales of NHL franchises in Pittsburgh and Miami. The other groups were led by Houston businessman Jim Crane and Beverly Hills insurance man Dennis Gilbert, who is also a former player agent. All three groups submitted proposals in order to gain exclusive negotiating rights with Hicks. Greenberg's group was eventually awarded the rights.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Barry M. Bloom contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.