LOS ANGELES — Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection Monday in an effort to restructure its debt, court documents showed.

The petition was filed in Delaware by the Los Angeles Dodgers Holding Company under Chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy code.

It lists debts to current and former players including retired star Manny Ramirez, who owed more than $20 million.

The move comes as MLB officials had threatened to take over the team if owner Frank McCourt could not meet the Dodgers' payroll.

McCourt said in a statement that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig's refusal to approve a television deal with Fox was the cause for the Chapter 11 filing.

Selig has rejected a proposal under which Fox would have loaned about $200 million to Frank McCourt, who would use the Dodgers' cable television rights as collateral/

"We brought the commissioner a media rights deal that would have solved the cash flow challenge... Yet he's turned his back on the Dodgers, treated us differently, and forced us to the point we find ourselves in today," McCourt said.

"I simply cannot allow the commissioner to knowingly and intentionally be in a position to expose the Dodgers to financial risk any longer. It is my hope that the Chapter 11 process will create a fair and constructive environment to get done what we couldn't achieve with the commissioner directly."

The team plans to continue operations with $150 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing.

"This financing will enable the Dodger organization to fully meet its obligations going forward. There will be no disruption," the statement said.