Agreement on sale of Astros nears


HOUSTON (AP) - A group led by businessman Jim Crane is close to an agreement to buy the Houston Astros.

Owner Drayton McLane said in a phone interview Wednesday that the team has been negotiating with Crane's group "for several weeks," but that no contracts have been signed.

McLane said the deal could be reached next week, but the process "could be longer."

McLane put the franchise up for sale in November and retained the New York investment firm Allen and Co. to help him broker the deal.

This isn't the first time Crane has tried to buy the Astros. McLane turned down Crane's offer in October 2008.

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