NEW YORK Paychecks won't be bouncing to baseball players next week like so many wild pitches heading to the backstop.
A day after commissioner Bud Selig said a team was in danger of not making payroll next week, his top aide insisted any financial problems had passed.
Selig did not identify the team during a Wednesday interview with several newspapers, and also said a second unidentified club had so much debt it might not be able to finish the season.
A top official of a major league team, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Thursday the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Devil Rays had cash-flow problems earlier this year, but both teams denied any financial difficulties.
"There are teams that are continuing to work very hard to meet all of their expenses that come due," Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, said Thursday. "Whatever immediate issues there were with one or two clubs have been resolved in the short term."
Baseball teams can borrow up to $72 million each through a line of credit backed by the sport's central fund, which collects money from national broadcasting and licensing contracts.
A high-ranking baseball official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said that before the June 15 payroll, a team was having financial difficulty. The team, which the official didn't identify, secured additional credit from its bank after baseball provided a letter stating that a payment from the central fund would be made to the team in July, the official said.
"As far as I know, as far as I'm concerned, it's not the Devil Rays," Tampa Bay general manager Chuck LaMar said. "All I know is I'm not aware of any type of loan or bailout from major league baseball."
Tigers president Dave Dombrowski refused to say if baseball had provided any specific assurances to the team's bank, saying, "We don't get into our personal finances at all."
Dombrowski said the Tigers were not in danger of failing to have enough cash to pay players next week.
"We're going to meet our payroll," he said. "I can assure that they'll get paid on the 15th."
Selig, trying to gain concessions from the players' association, has spent more than 1 1/2 years saying that baseball has widespread financial difficulties. Union head Donald Fehr seemed surprised by Selig's remarks.
"It was sort of an odd thing to see said publicly," Fehr said. "And, hopefully, it's an issue that's behind us at this point."
Bargaining for a new labor contract, recessed since June 27, was to have resumed Thursday in New York, but the sides agreed to scrap the session and meet Friday.
The sides are far apart on increased revenue sharing among teams, the owners' proposal for a luxury tax to slow payroll growth, random testing for steroids and other drugs, extending the amateur draft worldwide, and management's attempt to change salary arbitration rules and eligibility.
Players fear owners might try to unilaterally change work rules this fall. While the union hasn't set a strike date, the players are expected to call for a walkout in August or September if there is no progress in talks. It would be baseball's ninth work stoppage and first since 1994-95.
"It's hard to quantify progress in bargaining. I think we could say we've got a long way to go," Fehr said. "But what typically happens in collective bargaining is that you talk for a long time and then somehow, someway usually in a way you don't anticipate a breakthrough happens and then a lot of things sort of dovetail."