United States Bankruptcy Judge Marvin Isgur is considering an order to allow the Astros (and the Houston Rockets) to negotiate with other parties to see if another business model with a new partner could make a Houston sports network profitable, according to David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. Those partners include FOX Sports, and Astros owner Jim Crane disclosed in the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings for CSN Houston that he spoke with FOX executives earlier in the year about returning to FOX Sports Southwest. Crane has previously expressed concern about CSN Houston's impact on his team's ability to compete within the division. Here's more out of the AL West…
- There's mutual interest between the Athletics and Bartolo Colon, agent Adam Katz told Joe Stiglich of CSN California. Colon "loved his time" with the A's and would be open should they wish to make an offer, Stiglich elaborates (Twitter links). Colon recently told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he thinks he can pitch three more seasons.
- Speaking of Slusser, her latest column has a host of info on the decisions facing the A's early in the offseason. A qualifying offer seems too steep a price for Oakland to offer Colon, though she feels that he's likely to seek a deal similar to the one-year, $15MM contract Hiroki Kuroda signed this past offseason. Echoing earlier reports, Slusser feels that Grant Balfour is likely to leave as a free agent.
- MLB.com's Greg Johns looks at the unlikely path that right-hander Danny Farquhar took to become the Mariners closer. The 26-year-old went from the Blue Jays to the A's to the Yankees to the Mariners in a span of 12 months and entered 2013 as an afterthought before finishing the regular season with one of the most dominant stretches of any AL reliever this year.