08/08/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Mark Cuban's Chicago Cubs Bid May Be The Strongest

The next phase of the auction will begin in September after a month-long period of due diligence to include exploring the team's data room, one source said. Minimum bids for the second round will be $1 billion. A Tribune spokesman declined comment.

Though Cuban has been at times controversial as the owner of the National Basketball Association's Dallas Mavericks, it would probably be difficult for Major League Baseball to turn him away if he makes the highest bid. "Cuban seems intent to make a hard push to buy the team," said Maury Brown, the founder of Portland, Ore.-based Business of Sports Network.