HOUSTON — Jim Crane’s group completed the purchase of the Houston Astros from longtime owner Drayton McLane Jr. on Tuesday afternoon — just five days after MLB approved the sale.
The transaction took place the same day in which players and owners signed an agreement for a new five-year labor contract.
Crane officially becomes the fifth owner in franchise history.
His group paid $610 million for the team, while McLane, who originally bought the Astros for $117 million on Nov. 9, 1992, received $645 million as part of deal, with $35 million coming from MLB.
“My partners and I are extremely excited,” Crane said in a released statement Tuesday. “We want to thank everyone, especially the fans, for all of their support and kind words. Now, we’ll turn our attention to bringing a winner back to Houston.
“Happy Thanksgiving to all.”
Despite a $680 million purchase agreement being reached last May, Crane negotiated a cheaper deal after it became apparent that MLB would only approve the sale if the Astros agreed to switch over to the American League beginning in 2013.
“Baseball has very high standards,” Crane said. “As I said in May, we felt confident there wasn’t anything in anyone’s past that would slow this down. I think it became evident a move to the AL was an issue. We had a transaction that was done in May.
“It was made very clear to us that anybody who owned the team would be doing that. We sat down with Drayton and MLB to sort it out.”
Crane will hold the title of owner and chairman, while George Postolos will run the day-to-day operations as team president and CEO.
Postolos was formerly the president and CEO of the Houston Rockets, as well as a special assistant to NBA commissioner David Stern.
He has been an advisor to Crane on sports matters for over four years.
Crane announced during a news conference at Minute Maid Park last Thursday that Pam Gardner will remain on the staff and continue her duties as the club’s president of business operations.
At this point, Crane has yet to comment on the futures of president of baseball operations Tal Smith and general manager Ed Wade.
A decision is expected soon.
“Starting on Tuesday, we will get in the office and begin to review everything, not only the baseball operations, but the marketing operations, as well,” Crane said. “We will sit down with all the executives and ask what we are doing right and ask what they think we are doing wrong. We’ll make some very quick adjustments. I think right after Thanksgiving, you will see us make a few moves. Right now, we’re just going to sit down with everybody and get their input on where we are at.”
For the latest Astros news, click on the Subscribe button at the top of the page. Also, be sure to follow Houston Astros Examiner Stephen Goff on Facebook and Twitter, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.