Thursday, October 20, 2011

The cost of switching leagues? $50m (allegedly)

The New York Post says that Jim Crane is asking for a $50m purchase price reduction as compensation for an Astros move to the American League.

On that front, the two sides are in the “ballpark” on the price, although a deal is far from certain, sources said...

...One source close to the talks said there is a “65 to 70 percent chance” that Selig and Crane will reach a deal. If not, Crane will likely walk away from buying the Astros. MLB and Crane spokesmen declined comment.

A few things to note about this:

1. Who gets the $50m? Crane, or Drayton? Not that it matters to us, as fans, but will Crane "pay" $680m to Drayton, and then Selig gives Crane $50m? Or will Crane just have to pay $630m?

2. I guess the Astros get $1m per year in the National League. That's the price of tradition.

3. For the right price, MLB and Selig are willing to overlook Crane's history (which may be perfectly explainable, and Crane may have explained it to Selig perfectly), as long as everyone gets what they want: For MLB, it's two 15-team leagues and an inflated purchase price for 29 other teams. For Crane, he gets his team - albeit in a very different situation than what he thought. No matter, though.

4. $50m doesn't seem like an awful lot of money. It's basically the Astros' payroll, minus Carlos Lee. As much as one can blow off the value of $50m, that's what I'm doing. I don't know if supplementary draft picks could have been part of the deal, but an effort to make the team better as a condition of the deal would have left me feeling less like this whole kabuki was just a negotiation between a high-priced hooker and a john in a Bentley.


Anonymous said...

Pretty amazing. Last year Crane was unfit to own the Rangers, but now he's not only acceptable to own the Astros, but he gets a $50,000,000 discount as well.

John Royal said...

Dear anon, I hate to let facts get in the way, but the reason Crane didn't get the Rangers last year is that a bankruptcy judge accepted the higher bid of Nolan Ryan's group over the bid of Crane and Make Cuban. But like I said, why let facts get in the way.

Anonymous said...

Different anon.

Mr. Royal, you were on here a few weeks ago proclaiming it was all about Crane's character. So, just just change the orginal post form "Last year" to "Months ago" and the Rangers to Astros, and the basic point is spot on.

By the way, what I take as the basic point is: to all those reporters/columnists who kept reporting and defending the idea that it was all about character, find a new job, cause you are unfit for your present one.

Astros County said...

What it sounds like is that all of the "hang-ups" and "uncomfortableness" was a result of Selig/MLB trying to get what they wanted. If people wanted to think it was about character, fine. If it was about debt, fine. The debate over "what is keeping Crane from becoming owner" seems as though it was settled when Crane became open to moving the Astros to the AL.

Anonymous said...

John Royal - Jim Crane reneged on a deal to buy the Astros in 2008. Crane then engaged in sleazy side negotiations with Tom Hicks after Hicks had reached agreement with Ryan/Greenberg in late 2009. MLB then made it clear that Crane wouldn't be approved even if the bankruptcy court accepted any higher bid. Those are the "facts."

It's amazing how all these lazy Houston writers are trying to get back out ahead of a story they flubbed for five months.