Thursday, July 02, 2009
Signs The Rangers' Finances Are Getting More Perilous
- Tom Hicks has folded the marketing group selling the Rangers, splitting employees into their respective teams. (It was also plugging the Dallas Stars hockey team.)
- The Rangers borrowed $15M from MLB to make payroll.
The chatter arose Wednesday after a local blog reported hearing on a national radio broadcast the team had borrowed $15 million from MLB to make its most recent payroll obligations and to fund ongoing operations. Asked about the reports, Hicks referred questions to team spokesman John Blake, who said the team would have no comment on the financial situation. Club president Nolan Ryan declined to comment after the Rangers’ 9-7 win over Los Angeles, which pulled them within a half game of the Angels in the AL West.
Club sources, however, said the team has paid its employees for the most recent pay period and that Hicks remains in control of the organization. According to a source familiar with the situation, the Rangers are continuing normal operating procedures and have financial resources to sign both draft picks and international free agents. The source, however, did not mention the possibility of increasing payroll at the trading deadline.
According to a source, a scenario has been in place for several weeks that would have allowed the Rangers to borrow from the MLB fund. It would not mean MLB would take control of the club, but under those circumstances, it’s likely MLB would have much more say on spending matters. The Rangers top two draft picks, LHP Matt Purke and RHP Tanner Scheppers, are both demanding bonuses well in excess of the current MLB-recommended “slotting” system.