As the dust settles—both on the agreements that Drayton McLane had written up to sell the Astros to Jim Crane and on the team itself—Astros fans find themselves wondering what the next step is. Unfortunately, because Crane still needs to be approved by Major League Baseball, most of it is at the innuendo stage at this point. But here’s what we know for now.
Richard Justice believes that both Tal Smith and Pam Gardner, who run the Astros’ baseball and business operations, will be out by the end of the season. He also believes that even if the Astros aren’t able to persuade Andrew Friedman to take the reins of the franchise, Astros GM Ed Wade has only a “slim chance” of surviving and new CEO George Postolos will be a driving force in finding “someone like Daryl Morey or Andrew Friedman.”
Granted, Justice isn’t exactly someone I’d run to for my scoops on things, because he doesn’t break too many stories. However, if there’s one team in town he’s close to, it’s the Astros.
Per The Examiner’s Stephen Goff, Wade hadn’t met Crane until yesterday’s press conference. Not exactly a great sign for his continued employment. Wade believes that if the sale is approved before the trade deadline, it could have a drastic effect on how the club approaches things. I would assume that is in reference to players like Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers, and maybe Hunter Pence as well. The Astros have a lot of players in this mold: solid contributors that have market-level contracts. If new ownership is as data-driven as rumored, look for players in that mold to be dealt.
Meanwhile, Crane has received permission from McLane to attend the team’s draft room, Buster Olney says. The way Olney writes about the sale, it doesn’t look like immediate changes are coming as soon as Crane gets on board officially. Instead, he says they’ll “spend the months ahead evaluating the organization.” I assume Crane and Postolos already have pretty solid ideas about what they’ll do, but that they’ll try to ease the current administration’s staff down. To give them a better chance for future opportunities elsewhere.