Mark Melancon of the Houston Astros celebrates with teammate J.R. Towles after beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Houston Astros Have Been Sold To Jim Crane

The Houston Astros have changed owners for the first time in 18 years.

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4 Total Updates since May 16, 2011
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The Houston Astros Are Moving, And The Fans Will Survive

In time for the 2013 regular season, the Houston Astros will shift to the American League, and a number of their fans are very upset. Those fans, though, are going to stick with the team that they chose.


Houston Astros Sold By Drayton McLane To Jim Crane

Drayton McLane has owned the Houston Astros since 1992; today, at a Houston news conference, the completion of the sale of the club to Houston businessman Jim Crane was officially announced.

According to the Astros website, the sale price of the franchise was $680 million, far more than the $117 million McLane paid back in 1992.

The usual platitudes were exchanged at the news conference. Crane made the obligatory championship mention:

“We worked long and hard to get a baseball team, and will work even harder to win a World Series for our hometown,” Crane said. “Thank you to Drayton and my partners for making this day possible.”

McLane smiled for photographers, but also expressed sadness at leaving something he’s been a part of for two decades:

McLane even allowed himself to get somewhat nostalgic, saying he was going to miss “all parts” of owning a Major League franchise.

“You can’t do something forever and ever,” he said. “My parents told me I had to get out of college and go to work. So it’s 19 years. It’s time to hand it off to a high-quality human being like Jim Crane.”

The ownership change still has to be approved by a 75% majority vote of the other owners, but that is expected to be a formality; the article says the transfer should be complete in four to six weeks.


Astros Sale To Jim Crane May Close Monday

Drayton McLane, who has owned the Houston Astros since 1992, has had the club on the market for the last couple of years.

Today, according to Maury Brown at Biz of Baseball, the sale of the Astros to Houston businessman Jim Crane may be completed:

The Astros have not commented on the sale. The reported sale price is $680 million. Drayton McLane purchased the Astros for $117 million in 1992. Accounting for inflation, in today’s dollars that would be worth approx $180 million. He will also receive $95 million in monies associated to the new regional sports network being started with the Houston Rockets.

As with all sales of major league franchises, the Astros sale is subject to approval by a vote of at least 75% of the other 29 owners. Like the recent sale of the Chicago Cubs to the Ricketts family, this approval is expected to be given.

The Astros made the postseason six times under McLane's ownership and played in one World Series, in 2005 when they lost to the White Sox. McLane's darkest moment may have been when he refused to allow the team to travel out of Houston during Hurricane Ike in 2008, finally relenting and having them play two games against the Cubs in Milwaukee's Miller Park, one of which turned into Carlos Zambrano's first career no-hitter.


Will Astros' Next Owner Make Big Changes?

It now seems highly likely that Drayton McLane will sell the Houston Astros to Jim Crane this summer. What can Crane do to turn around the struggling franchise?

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