A deal has been struck by Hicks Sports Group to sell the Texas Rangers to a 12-investor group headed by Chuck Greenberg and including team president and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, according to a source.
The final agreement comes eight days after a 30-day exclusive-negotiating window expired at midnight Jan. 22. But the sides continued to work, reportedly with some urging from commissioner Bud Selig, and the papers were signed moments ago.
No final price tag has been announced, though it is not believed to be as high as the $570 million that was reported by a national outlet earlier this week.
The deal, according to sources, cuts owner Tom Hicks almost entirely out of the picture. He will be a partner with Greenberg and Ryan, but his ownership share will be very small, sources said, and his spot on the new board of directors is in question.
Greenberg-Ryan could be approved as owners by Opening Day, if not a few weeks sooner. The deal must first meet the muster of baseball's executive and ownership committees, as well as the lenders who hold $525 million in Hicks Sports Group debt. The final step is getting the approval of 75 percent of team owners, which is considered a formality.
-- Jeff Wilson