Astros owner Jim Crane says team will spend money during offseason

Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

Problems with their cable provider and a franchise record 111 losses will not keep Houston from expanding a league-worst payroll.

Speaking at a fundraising golf tournament sponsored by the team, Houston Astros owner Jim Crane vowed the team would spend money over the winter, reports the Houston Chronicle.

"Don't lose the faith, we hit the bottom yesterday," Crane reportedly told fundraiser attendees. "We will spend some money, not only [at the fundraiser] but on the team next year. And you will see us on TV."

The last statement refers to the team's struggles with regional sports broadcaster CSN Houston, who is filing for bankruptcy. The network, which has carried the Astros' games, only reaches about 40 percent of households in the Houston area. A week ago, the Astros' recorded a 0.0 Nielsen rating, the lowest number possible.

The team cut costs severely in the offseason as they moved to the American League. Their $26.1 million payroll was easily last in the MLB and is the lowest dollar amount the team has paid in player salaries since 1992. The second-cheapest MLB team in 2013, the Marlins, nearly doubled the Astros' payroll according to Cot's Contracts.

Erik Bedard was the Astros' highest paid player in 2013, checking in at a cool $1.15 million. He will be a free agent in the offseason.

More Astros coverage: The Crawfish Boxes

The 2013 Astros lost a franchise-record 111 games in just Crane's second season as principal owner.

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