The Texas Rangers will have to change their bankruptcy plan - although not the amount the team owes - to avoid having it killed by upset creditors, a federal bankruptcy judge said Tuesday in Fort Worth, Texas.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge D. Michael Lynn said in a written ruling that creditors and team owners were adversely affected by the Rangers’ plan to pay creditors $75 million and sell the club to a group led by Hall of Fame pitcher and team president Nolan Ryan and Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg.
The ruling allows the team and two groups of creditors to vote on the plan. Because creditors have said they would vote against it, the Rangers are expected to change the plan before a vote happens.
The judge said he was not ordering changes to the plan and essentially rejected creditors’ arguments that the team owed them more. But Lynn took issue with some creditors’ rights that were taken away.
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“The court concludes that ... (the Rangers) must grant them their rights under their loan documents prospectively. While payment of the $75,000,000 plus interest will satisfy and discharge debtor’s monetary obligations as required by (a bankruptcy code), in order for the plan to be confirmed without the acceptance of the lenders ... the treatment of the lenders must be modified,” Lynn wrote.
A final decision on the plan is expected at a July 9 hearing, well before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline in which the AL West-leading Rangers could add players and look to improve the team for a pennant run.
Andrew LeBlanc, an attorney for some creditors, said the bankruptcy filing took away creditors’ rights in the original loan agreement, which stipulated that lenders had to approve the team’s sale – which they wouldn’t have under the current plan.
SURGERY (AGAIN) FOR MCGOWAN
Blue Jays right-hander Dustin McGowan had surgery to repair a “significant tear” in his rotator cuff and improve range of motion in his pitching shoulder. He will not resume throwing for four to six months.
McGowan was pitching with a partially torn rotator cuff when he left a July 8, 2008, start against Baltimore because of pain in his shoulder. He had surgery to repair a frayed labrum later that month and has not pitched in the majors since. He had surgery to his right knee in July.
The Chicago White Sox and first-round draft pick Chris Sale, a left-hander from Florida Gulf Coast University, have agreed to a contract that includes a $1,686,000 signing bonus. … San Diego Padres catcher Yorvit Torrealba has dropped his appeal and started serving a three-game suspension for making contact with an umpire. … The Colorado Rockies activated closer Huston Street, who hasn’t pitcher all season because of shoulder inflammation, and designated right-hander Juan Rincon for assignment.