The Astros will likely be sellers at this year’s trade deadline, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Houston has an MLB-worst 29-57 record, so the front office figures to entertain offers for Wandy Rodriguez, Michael Bourn and others. Here are the details from Rosenthal and Morosi’s report, which is a must-read item for Astros fans:
- Though owner Drayton McLane would like to complete the sale of his club to Jim Crane by the July 31st trade deadline, the deal may not become official until August. MLB isn’t close to approving the sale, partly because of its ongoing conflict with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.
- Crane will likely stay quiet until baseball’s owners approve him, but he’ll influence the team’s direction this summer.
- MLB has not told Crane that he has to agree to move the Astros to the AL West for the sale to go through.
- Carlos Lee, who earns $18.5MM this year and next year, wouldn’t be easy to trade even if Houston picked up significant salary.
- The club doesn’t want to trade Hunter Pence, who is under control through 2013. Bud Norris and Jordan Lyles also figure into Houston’s long-term plans, but the Astros will likely listen to offers on most other players, including Brett Myers and Jeff Keppinger.
- Most baseball people expect Crane to fire GM Ed Wade, but the new owner will likely take his time evaluating Wade’s leadership before conducting a search for a new GM.
- Houston native and current Rays executive Andrew Friedman is “an almost certain target,” according to Rosenthal and Morosi. Another Tampa Bay exec, former Astros GM Gerry Hunsicker, is also a possibility for Crane. He led Houston to four division titles before joining the Rays.