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The Astros want to buy the New Orleans Zephyrs

Apr 1, 2013, 4:30 PM EDT

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Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that Jim Crane of the Astros wants to move its Triple-A team to the Houston suburbs. Specifically, The Woodlands or Conroe. And the way they’d likely do it is to purchase an existing franchise and move it:

Crane said the Astros have met with officials from the Zephyrs and will continue to keep the dialogue going. He said the entire process is in the early stages, but he wants the Astros to be prepared to move fast when the stadium situation is settled.

“Until we get a firm deal from the municipalities in The Woodlands or Conroe, we’re not going to be able to put our money down to buy a franchise before we have somewhere to go with it,” Crane said. “We probably have the cart before the horse, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep our nose down and figure out which team that might be.”

Having a local or quasi-local Triple-A team is all the rage these days. The Astros wanna get it on that.

  1. historiophiliac - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    I’m sure the Red Hawks will find a new organization to affiliate with. Stupid Astros.

    • magzalez - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      I’m guessing that would probably be the Marlins because the Zephyrs are their AAA affiliate.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:41 PM

        Oh, God, more noodling.

      • Old Gator - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:50 PM

        A word of advice to the Astros: if Scrooge McLoria tries to hold you up for his rights to the Zephyrs (assuming he has any contractual protection), just make him such a huge offer for them that he’ll be buried alive, like that asshole railroad inspector at the end of Frank Norris’ The Octopus. Then, he’ll have to plough his profits into payroll for the big club.

        Won’t he?

    • unclemosesgreen - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      Given the new trend with the geography of AAA teams, it might be prudent for your local politicos to start looking for AA teams to woo. The dubs are more fun anyway.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:42 PM

        I was not aware of this. What teams are doing this?

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:53 PM

        The latest move was Toronto jacked the Buffalo Bisons from the Mets to have their AAA team closer. Most of the IL and PCL teams are very close to their parent clubs. The benefit is that they have the backups to the backups close at hand in case they are needed.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:47 PM

        Tulsa has a AA team and I’ve seen a lot of really great players come through (in fact, three current and one now former Tiger played in Tulsa, and of course a number of Rockies players). They’re part of the Texas League, which is pretty well established. I don’t know if OKC can move into AA. They have a great ballpark though.

      • stex52 - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:56 PM

        Rangers swiped Round Rock from the Astros. That’s where Houston needs to be. Back in the Austin area. If Nolan’s feelings are all hurt, maybe he will cut a deal with Houston to have them again.

        Probably can’t, but that would be the best deal around.

    • gerryb323 - Apr 1, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      A lot of AAA teams seem to change around a good bit anyway.

      Just in the last 10 years, the Zephyr’s have been the AAA team for the Marlins, the Mets, and the Astros. Going back a little more, they were a Brewers affiliate.

      It actually makes sense to have your affiliates (esp. AAA) close to home in case you need an emergency call up. Now New Orleans would seem close enough to Houston, but I guess if they buy them they can do what they want!

  2. blacksables - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Don’t the Astros already have a local AAA in the area? Named the Astros?

    Sorry, had to be done.

    • jeffa43 - Apr 1, 2013 at 5:12 PM

      That would be the first place Astros….

      • jarathen - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:06 AM

        It’s a tie for first place now.

  3. bayou133cajun - Apr 1, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Why waste money on buying a triple A team to move them to another town. The marlins are not giving their players up during the sell. So really all you have is a team buying the mascot name. No wonder the Astros are so low. I mean find your city have the taxpayers build you a stadium and then move your triple a players to that city. If you don’t like their mascot name change it to the Astros like all the other clubs are doing.

  4. DJ MC - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Am I the only one who hates the trend of teams moving their AAA teams from real cities to outer suburbs? I like the fact that the Orioles had their AAA affiliate in Rochester for so many years, and now in Norfolk. It wouldn’t be the same if the team played in Columbia.

    • Old Gator - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:47 PM

      (Raises his hand to second the motion).

  5. thekingdave - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Meanwhile there is an independent league team in Sugar Land that was blocked from being an Astros affiliate by Drayton McLane. Crane says they’re too close to be an affiliate now, but I think the real reason is former team president Tal Smith (fired by Crane) is employed by the Skeeters.

    • stex52 - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:59 PM

      Skeeters would be great. About five miles from my house. But I still think Round Rock is better for the Austin market.

      In a few years there will be a war for the hearts of Texans again.

  6. marcinhouston - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    The Astros already own a AAA team. It plays at Minutemaid Park in Downtown Houston. They do not need to be stealing a team from New Orleans, even if it might be a team with talent more suited to the venue.

  7. rigatonikid - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    I hear the Astrodome is vacant and looking for a tenant. Good thing it hasn’t been imploded yet. /s

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