All last week, as the reports of Jim Crane’s imminent purchase of the Houston Astros came in, current owner Drayton McLane kept saying that the lawyers had to dot I’s and cross T’s, and that there were “a lot of details for the lawyers to work on.” Seems that McLane made his lawyers work over the weekend, because there will be a press conference this afternoon officially announcing the sale of the team to Crane.
As we speak, Crane is likely watching video of the McCourts’ introductory press conference after bought the Dodgers to make sure that he says absolutely nothing like they did whatsoever.
For Astros fans, here’s an interesting look at some of the other faces and wallets in the Astros’ new ownership group. And, more interesting than that: 10 things you don’t know about Jim Crane. Both of those links come courtesy of Richard Justice, who is mad-Tweetin’ this afternoon.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.