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The Astros are for sale

Nov 19, 2010, 6:51 AM EDT

Drayton McClane

Mark Cuban and Jim Crane, please call your office . . .

Astros owner Drayton McLane has retained the services of the investment bank Allen & Company to assist in the sale of the team, according to two people with knowledge of the arrangement.

McLane, who could not be reached for comment Thursday night, has owned the Astros since 1992. Having entertained on and off for at least a couple of years the idea of selling, he has ramped up efforts recently.

McLane has toyed with selling the Astros in the past, but you don’t hire an investment bank if you’re toying.  He really wants to sell this time.  Maury has more details over at the Biz of Baseball. The upshot, though: McLane wants around $800 million. Any purchase of the team would include a stake in the newly created regional sports network CSN Houston.  Bonus: no one is bankrupt this time, so any sale would likely take less than nine months and multiple rounds of litigation.

Which means this won’t be much fun at all, sadly.

  1. Jonny 5 - Nov 19, 2010 at 8:29 AM

    This is terrible. I love McLane and his very good trading sense with the Phillies, he’s always ready to make the Phills a deal they can’t refuse. 😉

  2. Ari Collins - Nov 19, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    I can’t think of a single other team that needs new ownership more than the Astros. He’s killed that franchise.

    • Jonny 5 - Nov 19, 2010 at 9:44 AM

      Shhhh, he runs it perfectly. If you’re the Phills anyway. Not even the Dodgers or Marlins Ari?

      • Utley's Hair - Nov 19, 2010 at 10:53 AM

        The Stros are run fine right now. They just need to pick up Cliffy—the Phightins might have a few farmhands that could be shipped down there for him.

    • BC - Nov 19, 2010 at 10:04 AM

      Um…. As a Mets fan, I’d gladly welcome McLane to buy my team.

      • Space Escalator - Nov 19, 2010 at 10:36 AM

        You’d think that would be an improvement, but he’d bring in somebody like Wade and you’d end up with all the old Phillies castoffs. You’ve got Alderson now which is at least a step in the right direction.

    • bigharold - Nov 19, 2010 at 11:18 AM

      “I can’t think of a single other team that needs new ownership more than the Astros.”

      Then you aren’t trying very hard. Start with the Mets,

  3. apbaguy - Nov 19, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    Boy, Ari, try this list for teams that need new owners: Orioles, Nationals, Athletics, Marlins, Mets, Dodgers. Of those, the Orioles, Dodgers and Marlins have worse ownership than the Astros. The A’s, Nationals and Mets are in the same level of “Bad, but not the worst”. You can maybe add KC to the latter group as well.

    Still this sets up a cool Mark Cuban play. Even though he’s a Dallas resident, a Houston team is just a short private jet hop away. And if he doesn’t win the bid imagine the anti-trust action. Fun for all.

    And I’ll get to write about the ultra-rich, wealth concentration, taxpayer funding and 15% marginal tax rates. Talk about fun!

    • Jonny 5 - Nov 19, 2010 at 11:44 AM

      Actually the Nats are looking like, aww hell who am I kidding??? They’ll stink even more this season…

      • Utley's Hair - Nov 19, 2010 at 11:58 AM

        They do have the Strasburger with cheese (and mustard?) on the shelf until 2011—probably at least—and that modestly humble and softspoken kid in the Fall League.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 19, 2010 at 1:52 PM

        And they’ll be losing Dunn, and wellemyer it looks like too. Morgan is gone. It’s not going to look like the same team. Where did that little scrapper go anyway?

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