Businessman Jim Crane is in talks with MLB to purchase the Astros from current owner Drayton McLane, with a possible vote by MLB owners to approve the sale taking place in November. The Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday that Crane cited MLB's desire to move the Astros from the six-team NL Central to the four-team AL West as one of the delays in completing a deal.
McClane has made three unsuccessful runs at purchasing a MLB club previously, including the Astros in 2008 and the Texas Rangers. However, his quote in the Chronicle emphasized his confidence in getting this particular deal done:
"They're working through some issues," McLane said. "It will still get done. We just have to wade through some things."
Elsewhere, the neighboring Rangers wouldn't seem to mind Houston moving into their league and division. Team president Nolan Ryan told MLB.com the move would help develop a local rivalry, and give the Rangers more games in the Central Time Zone:
"When [the Astros] get competitive again, it will be a natural rivalry," Ryan said. "It would be good for baseball and Texas to have teams in the same state vying for the lead in the [AL] West."