Per Mark Berkman of Fox 26, the Astros have a new group of investors chasing them. Houston attorney J. Kent Friedman has collected a group that wants to join Jim Crane in pursuing the purchase of the Houston Astros.
Friedman is the chairman of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, and his son, Andrew, is a pretty successful baseball general manager for the Tampa Bay Rays. Could he be lured if Friedman purchased the Astros? You’d have to think so.
Nevertheless, Drayton McLane’s sole focus right now is on selling the Astros to Crane, and he finally acknowledged that Crane has an exclusive negotiating window with the club right now
“Jim Crane is the only person we’re negotiating with now,” McLane said Monday.
In late March, McLane had said he was in discussions with “three or four” individuals or leaders of groups, and in January, there had been “20 or 25″ individuals put through the vetting process, but they have all funneled to one.
Crane, the founder of Crane Worldwide Logistics and CEO of Crane Capital, has been in negotiations for several weeks with McLane.
“We’ve been talking to Kenny Friedman a number of times,” McLane said of the prominent attorney who is in a sense McLane’s landlord as the Astros are in Year 12 of a 30-year lease from the Sports Authority. “They’ve never made a solid propsosal.”
Should be interesting to see how this all plays out. There were previous rumors that the Astros deal would be done by the All-Star Break. If that’s true, it seems likely that Crane will be the one buying the team. The Astros are currently floundering at 11-17, dead last in the NL Central. .