Jim Crane told Mark Berman that the November 30 deadline to complete the sale of the Astros was not "etched in stone," and that a request from MLB to move to the American League was "not a deal-killer."
"If that contract expires, either we walk away or we try to negotiate a new contract. That's the two options in my opinion. We hope to sign the team up and be done with it long before November 30th, but that's out of our control."
But he didn't hesitate to fire a parting shot at MLB:
The longer this (goes) on it just creates uncertainty for the town and the fans. Baseball moves at their own pace. I think it's been detrimental to the team, to the fans, to not have clarity here and we would like to get this thing over with. They are going to go on their timetable and we're going to hang in there. We can get the job done, bottom line. I'll get the team back on track and I'll get the town engaged and I'll get the fans engaged and we'll put a good product on the field."
In this updated Chronicle story, Crane says that the longer MLB waits, the worse it could be for the Astros:
"It's really been bad for the team and the town in my opinion because (Drayton) kind of put stuff off - not that they're doing a bad job, I'm not trying to throw stones at anybody. But (McLane) wants out, the team was way below projections, and I think unless they get a shot in the arm and there's some new direction, the team could sink even further and the losses could be even greater for Drayton next year."