Posted by: thescoundrel | July 25, 2008

Sale of the Chicago Cubs Stumbles Forward


The Chicago Tribune has announced that that the Tribune Corp. has ended a first round of accepting bids from potential buyers for the Chicago Cubs Professional baseball team. The financial information surrounding the Cubs was originally released to ten different prospective buyers for the team. According to an AP article, the Tribune Corp., which was sold along with the Chicago Cubs MLB Franchise to Sam Zell, has narrowed the ten down to three possible bids and is now set to entertain new bids from the three finalists. The finalists are said to include volatile billionaire Mark Cuban, TD Ameritrade founders – the Ricketts Family and a third group that will include former baseball great Hank Aaron and former congressman Jack Kemp. The three selected finalists have supposedly each offered close to a billion dollars to purchase the Chicago Cubs Organization. Information released concerning the actual bids was limited due to the extreme secrecy in which MLB shrouds the process. This is probably just the beginning of what could become a tough negotiating period between MLB and current owners the Tribune Corp. Sam Zell spent over 8 billion dollars to buy the Tribune Corp. and needs to sell off the Cubs Franchise to soften the load of debt incurred in the purchase. But as I spoke of previously, just because Zell finds a buyer he is satisfied with does not mean the buyer will pass through the MLB Owners gauntlet.With MLB spending a billion dollars can be a difficult prospect. The other MLB Team Owners cabal must take a super secret vote and approve any sell of the team. The highest bid may not take home the prize. I have been reading rumors that MLB commissioner Bud Selig is unhappy with the way the sell is transpiring. Just recently he harshly punished the team for an error made when signing a draft pick. Compounding the process is that one of the potential buyers eliminated for a lowball bid already had ties to Bud Selig. Oops can you say a billion dollar nepotism attempt by Selig! Will Mafia Don wannabe Bud Selig chop off a horses head and leave the bloody remains in the bed of of Sam Zell to remind him that this transaction is not going the way he visioned it? It is hard to say but this could be a long bumpy ride before the sale is finalized.

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Responses

  1. i still think that cuban would be a good owner. and am happy the selig favored group is out. though i would think that the combo group would have a good shot since it has hank aaron.

  2. I am hot and cold on Cuban. But I think he offers the club its best chance for long term success since he would be more like a Steinbrenner owner than the standard trophy team purchasing MLB owner. Most owners see a team as a trophy wife. There are just to be put on display to impress others and build their ego. Cuban does not strike me that way.

    Also even though Zell has supposedly closed all bidding to just those three groups left, it is quite possible MLB Owners could force Zell to reconsider by rejecting all his choices once the final bids are in. MLB ownership is a closed society and will have the final say as to whom purchases the club.


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