The ownership change of the Astros has been hanging in the balance for months, as Jim Crane is awaiting approval to buy the franchise from Drayton McLane. Wednesday, Peter Gammons of MLB Network reported that the change is expected to be made in November. OK, that's fine. Not overly newsworthy, really. But then, Gammons added something that very much does matter, for all of baseball. The Astros are expected to be moved to the American League.
This has been rumored for some time, but never really reported as something that will definitely happen. Numerically, the move makes sense. The National League has 16 teams; the American League 14. The NL Central has six; the AL West four. Moving the Astros to the AL West makes sense, and they would have a natural division rivalry with the Texas Rangers -- albeit very lopsided in the present.
Stay tuned, but if this report is accurate, baseball is about to undergo major logistical changes. Also, don't expect the move to be made quickly enough to have it in place for 2012. The most likely outcome is the Astros move and the playoffs expand before 2013.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.