Jim Crane is not going to have any trouble with getting Bud Selig’s approval

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Last week the New York Times ran a story about discrimination claims lodged against Jim Crane’s company several years ago and wondered if the existence of such claims could complicate his approval as the new owner of the Houston Astros.  I was highly skeptical that would be an obstacle because if Bud Selig had any issues with Crane over this his bid for the Astros a couple of years ago would have been squashed, as would his bid for the Rangers last year.  That the present sale of the Astros has gotten this far is pretty clear evidence that, as far as baseball is concerned, Crane has no worries.

Today Richard Justice confirms that, reporting that Crane met with Selig yesterday and that it’s full steam ahead.  In the course of the article he notes how, if anyone was going to have a trouble with the discrimination allegations it would be Selig, and the fact that he’s cool with it means that everyone will be cool with it.

Now, we still await word as to whether anyone cares about those reports that Crane’s ownership group is debt heavy.  For that I’m not holding my breath.

Cubs sign Drew Smyly to a two-year, $10 million contract

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday evening that the club signed pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the contract is for $10 million total and allows Smyly to earn another $7 million with performance bonuses. Smyly was non-tendered by the Mariners at the beginning of the month and became a free agent.

Smyly, 28, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in late June. He’s expected to miss, at minimum, the first half of the 2018 season. The Cubs are hoping he can contribute to a playoff push in the latter half of the season as well as in 2019.

Smyly didn’t pitch at all in 2017. When he was healthy the season prior, he made 30 starts for the Rays and put up a 4.88 ERA and a 167/49 K/BB ratio in 175 1/3 innings.