Some notes out of Houston, including news about the proposed sale of the club….
- Potential Astros owner Jim Crane wants $50MM off his $680MM purchase price as compensation for moving the club to the American League, reports Josh Kosman of the New York Post. Though it isn't clear if a deal will be reached, Crane and MLB are in the "ballpark" of an agreement on the compensation price. A source tells Kosman that there is a “65 to 70 percent chance" that Crane and Bud Selig will reach an agreement, but if the two sides can't work out a deal, Crane won't buy the club.
- Crane's $50MM request could be his "exit strategy" from the sale, writes Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle, if he has become frustrated at how long it has taken to finalize his purchase of the Astros. Justice also speculates that current owner Drayton McLane could be the one who walks away from the deal if Crane wants to lower his price, even though $630MM is still higher than any other offer McLane could find.
- Rob Gloster of Business Week talks to several Astros and Braves officials for an oral history of the Michael Bourn trade.