Baseball

Astros purchased for $680 million

Jim Crane learned persistence playing baseball in his youth.

Turns out, he needed it. The Houston businessman failed three times to realize his dream of buying a Major League Baseball team.

On Monday, his never-give-up attitude paid off when Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane announced that he had agreed to sell the team to a group led by Crane for $680 million — the second-highest price in major league history if it is approved.

“Each time we tried it was a little difficult,” Crane said of his efforts to buy the Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs and, yes, the Astros. “I’m accustomed to winning. So we set our sights on winning and we never gave up.”

The sale is subject to approval by Major League Baseball, a process officials said could take at least 30-60 days. Upon approval, his group wound become the fifth ownership group in charge of a team founded in 1962.

The sale price trails only the $845 million purchase of the Chicago Cubs by the Ricketts family two years ago. The $660 million sale of the Boston Red Sox in 2002 currently is second. Like the Astros’ deal, the Cubs and Red Sox transactions included related entities.

SHORT HOPS

Mets third baseman David Wright has a stress fracture in his lower back that is expected to keep him out a couple weeks, though the team is awaiting a second opinion before putting him on the disabled list. … The Red Sox have placed right-hander John Lackey on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right elbow. … Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore is back on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised right knee. Sizemore, who graduated from Cascade High in Everett, missed most of last season after undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee. … Paul Splittorff, the winningest pitcher in Kansas City Royals history, is being treated for oral cancer and melanoma. The Royals said the family had confirmed that Splittorff, 64, had been admitted to an area hospital. … Manager Tony La Russa is back with the Cardinals after missing a six-game road trip to be treated for shingles. … Yankees reliever Rafael Soriano is still being slowed by stiffness in his right elbow. Soriano, who was the Tampa Bay Rays’ closer last season, signed a $35 million, three-year contract with New Yorkduring the offseason. … The Indians unveiled a new $2.6 million training academy in the Dominican Republic in an effort to develop more young baseball prospects from the talent-rich country and other Latin American nations. … Braves third baseman Chipper Jones says he could play as soon as today while recovering from a knee problem. … The Phillies activated pitcher Roy Oswalt from the 15-day disabled list and the right-hander is scheduled to start tonight against the Cardinals. … The Reds placed left-hander Aroldis Chapman on the 15-day disabled list with an inflamed pitching shoulder. … Former Reds chief operating officer John Allen will assist Tom Schieffer in monitoring the Los Angeles Dodgers for Major League Baseball. Allen was hired Monday and replaces former San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates executive Dick Freeman.

  Comments