Posted on: October 20, 2011 10:34 pm

Crane wants discount on Astros sale to move to AL

Jim CraneBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Red Sox aren't the only team searching for compensation these days, Jim Crane is seeking compensation for the Astros moving to the American League, several outlets are reporting.

While the Red Sox want talent, Crane, the prospective owner of the Astros, wants a discount on the $680 million purchase price that he agreed to with current owner Drayton McLane.

The New York Post reports Crane wants a $50 million discount, while MLB.com reports there's no set number.

Commissioner Bud Selig said last week he met with Crane earlier this month and had a good, productive meeting with the potential Houston owner.

According to MLB.com, Crane wants the price break to make up for the money spent on travel in the AL West and adding a designated hitter to the payroll.

The Houston Chronicle reports Selig has moved past  vetting Crane and is trying to finalize the deal.

"Baseball seems very interested to cause this to happen," the Chronicle quotes "an industry insider familiar with the negotiations" as saying. It also notes Crane has the leverage in the negotiations.

The move to the American League would even out the leagues at 15 teams each and five teams in each division, adding one team to the AL West and removing the Astros from the six-team NL Central.

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Posted on: June 13, 2011 9:59 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 11:06 pm

Diamondbacks targeted to switch leagues?

Chase Field

By C. Trent Rosecrans

If baseball goes through realignment, it appears the Diamondbacks could be the team to switch from the National League to the American League, USA Today's Bob Nightengale writes.

"We would do whatever's best for baseball," Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall told Nightengale. "Most would say us or the Astros would be the best candidates [to shift leagues]." 

Later in the day, Hall told the Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro that he didn't expect the Diamondbacks to move.

"Naturally, we would look into it if asked about it. But I’m not sure we’d ever get to that point because I think other teams make more sense geographically than we do," Hall told Piecoro (via Twitter). "For me personally, I’m a National League guy. I like the pace of the game, the strategy of the game. That’s what I prefer. I would want to hear what our fans prefer, but I’m not sure we would ever get to that point."

Hall then added this on Twitter:

The Astros were the team floated by ESPN's Buster Olney in his report this weekend that baseball was considering evening out the two leagues by moving a team. Monday, current Astros owner Drayton McLane said he doesn't want the team to move to the American League.

"I've always been a National League guy," McLane told Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle. "I think our fans are National League fans."

McLane said all the fans he heard from didn't support the move, either. That may hold more sway than McLane's vote. McLane has already agreed to sell the team to Jim Crane and, as Justice notes, it's unlikely Crane would make such an unpopular move so soon after purchasing the team.

If the Diamondbacks move to the American League West, the Astros could join the National League West, leaving the Central to the Midwest teams (and Pittsburgh).

The other team that might make some sense would be the Marlins, but more so in the 15-team, no-division scenario. Making room for the Marlins in the AL East would seem to be a stretch, perhaps moving the Blue Jays to the AL Central and the Royals to the AL West. 

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com