Per Sports Radio 610 (via MLB.com's Brian McTaggart), Astros owner Drayton McLane has entered into an exclusive negotiating window with Houston businessman Jim Crane to buy the club. McLane and Crane have long been rumored to be in negotiations, so this should hardly come as a surprise. No other realistic suitor ever really emerged for the club.
The Astros were put for sale by McLane starting in November, and he's employed Allen And Company, an investment firm, to solicit bids for the club since that time.
Earlier reports hinted that the Astros sale might be concluded by the All-Star break. The Astros are certainly not doing anything to increase their value right now, as they have the worst record in baseball at 9-17. They've also had real problems filling Minute Maid Park. A report earlier last week noted that the Astros attendance has decreased by 11% this season, though they have rebounded a bit against the Lance Berkman-led Cardinals and managed to draw 25,000 against the Brewers yesterday.â†µ