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Update: Astros sale could be completed by next week

May 11, 2011, 1:03 PM EDT

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UPDATE:  Zachary Levine reports that the sale of the Astros could be completed by next week. If so, ownership of the Astros could be transferred as early as July.

Tuesday: 5:07 PM:  Drayton McLane has commented on this morning’s report that he and Jim Crane have all but completed a deal to sell the Astros:

“I haven’t signed anything, Jim Crane and his group hasn’t signed anything and Major League Baseball hasn’t signed anything. We’re still negotiating, so there’s nothing to report.”

I guess I’d just note that saying “I haven’t signed anything” is not exactly a refutation of a report that you’re on the verge of signing anything.  In fact, they’re wholly consistent. But hey, they’ll tell us when they have a deal done.

Tuesday: 10:30 AM: Last week we learned that Jim Crane was the sole remaining bidder for the Houston Astros. This morning KTRK TV in Houston is reporting that the sale of the Houston Astros to Crane is all but a done deal. All that’s left according to KTRK: “the dotting of I’s and crossing of T’s.”  Gosh, I hope they’re not dotting capital I’s like that, because that would be improper.

The reported sale price is $680 million.  Drayton McLane purchased the team in late 1992 for $117 million in 1993. So, hey, not bad.

Given baseball’s recent history with turbulent transactions fraught with high drama and litigation, analysis of what appears to be a straightforward sale is, relatively speaking, like trying to expound upon a man tying his shoes and then walking on, so all I’ll say is “congratulations Drayton and Jim.”

  1. heyblueyoustink - May 10, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    “The reported sale price is $680 million. Drayton McLane purchased the team in late 1992 for $117 million in 1993. So, hey, not bad.”

    Damn, why can’t my comic books have that kind of apprecitation…..

    Side note, Ed Wade, you’ve been put on notice

    • b7p19 - May 10, 2011 at 12:21 PM

      Ruben Amaro is not pleased. He might be losing his AAAA team.

  2. spudchukar - May 10, 2011 at 10:39 AM

    What a perfect time to send the re-building Astros to the American League West, creating a natural rivalry with the cross-state Rangers and bringing the divisions into balance.

    • dodger88 - May 10, 2011 at 10:41 AM

      Not without having interleague play every day of the season……

      • spudchukar - May 10, 2011 at 10:56 AM

        …elaborate please. How would sending the ‘Stros to the American League create interleague play?

      • jimbo1949 - May 10, 2011 at 11:06 AM

        15 teams in each league?

      • spudchukar - May 10, 2011 at 11:12 AM

        Ok, Ok, I will blame senility for my denseness. Still, while it would be complicated, I believe some IBM supercomputer ought to be able to create a schedule that would suffice.

      • klbader72 - May 10, 2011 at 11:29 AM

        Just sent the Brewers back to the AL. Then you create a new rivalry in Texas and re-create the one between the Twins and Brewers.

      • BC - May 10, 2011 at 2:40 PM

        15 teams in each league?
        I have the solution. Put a team in Charlotte or Raleigh-Durham. Big market with some big money floating around.
        Then put an NL team in Hartford. <—— Selfish wish
        My God, will some league other than the UFL put a team in Hartford? I'm dyin' here….

    • Gardenhire's Cat - May 10, 2011 at 11:06 AM

      You would have 15 teams in the AL and 15 teams in the NL under your plan.. If all teams were to play on the same day there would be at least 1 interleague game

    • rollinghighwayblues - May 10, 2011 at 1:12 PM

      There isn’t a rivalry at all to be absolutely honest. When the Rangers and Astros play eachother it is a snoozefest with no real intensity. It’s hard to have a rivalry when in the last six years theres been two huge bandwagons roaming the lone star state. When the Astros were getting hot and making their miraculous run to the WS everyone hopped on board and became a “fan”. And as of last year the Rangers fanbase wasn’t half of what it is today. They started getting hot then and people started to take notice then all of sudden everyone is wearing recently purchased Rangers merchandise. Case in point, I remember “fans” swearing to be die hard Astros fans when they were in the postseason in ’05, now those same “fans” are bleeding red and blue for the Rangers saying theyve been a fan all along. Impossible to have a rivalry when the states chock full of front runners.

      • sasquash20 - May 10, 2011 at 5:01 PM

        Well said about the fraud fans in Ass backwards Texas

  3. thekingdave - May 10, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    Finally. Very sad the Stros were at their peak as a franchise just 6 years ago. Time for new blood, MMP is a ghost town.

  4. BC - May 10, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    My only hope is that Jim Crane is a pseudonym for Mark Cuban. Sort of like the Chris Gaines / Garth Brooks thing.

    • jwbiii - May 10, 2011 at 5:23 PM

      Nope. Crane is a guy who, from what I have read, is worth about 10% of what McLane is. Unless he has partners with deep pockets, and I don’t know that he doesn’t, he will be highly leveraged. He also has a history of family discord and skimming funds. Money quote, concerning his divorce:

      With them being the only directors of the company, she hit him with accusations that he was draining corporate assets with checks ranging up to $411,000. She attacked him for making $220,000 in transfers to his profit sharing plan. A company attorney tactfully advised in a letter that “it would be helpful if the issue with Mrs. Crane could be satisfactorily resolved in a manner that would not cause this issue to be presented to the IRS.”

      Remind you of any other MLB owner?

  5. sasquash20 - May 10, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    Ruben get on the phone with Ed, and hammer out another one sided deal. A right handed bat to hit behind Howard would be nice. See if you can get them to pick up most of the money, like they did with the Oswalt deal. I hope Ed Wade gets hired by KC next, they have tons of young talent that would look fantastic in Phils digs.

  6. dogsweat1 - May 10, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    Bob Crane?

    Charlotte Astros?

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