© 2009 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

10/20/09 8:24 PM ET

Rangers owners meet potential buyer

Houston businessman talks to Hicks Sports Group

Members of the Hicks Sports Group met with the first of three potential investors in the Rangers on Tuesday.

The meetings with Houston businessman Jim Crane and his advisers took place at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. They included a tour of the ballpark and conferences with both the baseball and business operations of the team, according to a statement released by the Hicks Sports Group.

Team president Nolan Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels were among the officials who participated in the meetings. The meetings were described as "routine and part of the normal due diligence process." Two other groups are expected to have similar meetings in the near future.

One group is headed by Dennis Gilbert, a former powerful player agent and Minor League player who is currently a special assistant to White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. Gilbert has been actively involved in the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program as well as the Professional Scouts Foundation.

A second group is headed by Pittsburgh sports attorney Chuck Greenberg, who owns and operates two Minor League teams and has talked to Ryan about joining his group. Greenberg also helped NHL Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1999, which saved the franchise from relocation.

Rangers owner Tom Hicks has expressed a willingness to sell part or all of the team. But he has not made any final decisions and the possibility exists that he could remain substantially involved in any future ownership group.

Any sale would have to be approved by the other owners and would almost certainly have to have the support of Commissioner Bud Selig. But the three bidders are dealing directly with Hicks and his representatives and not Major League Baseball.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.