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

Cuban Out Of Cubs Bidding, Tribune May Keep Half Of Team: Reports


"[S]ources close to commissioner Bud Selig sounded an alarm this week during the annual general managers meetings: Forget about Mark Cuban buying the Cubs," Chris De Luca reports in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks' owner, was the fan favorite, the guy who liked to drink beer, watch the game from the bleachers and spend money. He was the most appealing bidder to Zell's group, who knew Cuban could swing the quickest transaction for a team and ballpark that at one time figured to fetch $1 billion.

Global financial crisis or not, baseball's old guard plans to stand firm against letting Cuban into the club. ''There's no way Bud and the owners are going to let that happen,'' a Major League Baseball source said this week. ''Zero chance.''

This report comes on the heels of another, from the Wall Street Journal (via Reuters), that Tribune Company may wind up keeping as much as half of the Cubs in any potential deal, a stark reversal from owner Sam Zell's original goal of washing his hands of the team by the end of the year.

Newspaper publisher and broadcaster Tribune Co may end up holding 50 percent or more of its storied Chicago Cubs baseball franchise as the credit crunch stalled sales talks, the Wall Street Journal said.

In recent weeks, an early plan to sell a 95 percent stake has fallen to about half as suitors' ability to buy the team and its stadium on Chicago's North Side waned, the paper said citing two people involved in the negotiations.

On Thursday, bidders were preparing to receive a request to submit new purchase proposals with financing details, those people told the paper.