It's hardly the ideal time of year for a prolonged ownership transition, but the Astros are trying to make the best of it.
As Drayton McLane's ownership comes to an end and Jim Crane and chief executive officer George Postolos enter, Ed Wade believes there will be plenty of freedom to operate at the June 6-8 draft and at the trading deadline, with rumors already swirling about potential targets.
"We've had general conversations about where we stand in the process of Jim Crane's getting through, and all indications are that it's business as usual," Wade said.
Crane and Postolos met with Wade and McLane this week, and their group will have a presence in meetings ahead of the June 6-8 event, but Wade said, "It's still Drayton's draft."
With ownership slated to turn over sometime in June or July, it is likely that McLane will be the owner when the players are drafted, but should a deal go over slot and get put off until close to the Aug. 15 deadline, it will probably be Crane's group doing the final negotiating.
Wade was pleased with how this week's meetings went as the philosophies are aligned on the place of the draft, which Wade has stressed since he took over in 2007.
"Both Jim and George know the importance of this," said Wade, adding that they are committed to a strong presence in Latin America as well. "Everyone wants to get to the point where the core of the team is coming through scouting and player development."
The Astros will reconvene their cross-checkers in Houston next week for the annual national scouting meetings. At that time, the three regional boards will be fused together to form a the big board that they will carry into the draft for the No. 11 overall pick and their next 49.
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