Drayton McLane expects sale of Astros to Jim Crane to be finalized in 3-4 weeks

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Whether it’s based in reality or merely wishful thinking, here’s the note from Stephen Goff, beat writer for Examiner.com:

Drayton McLane Jr. told me he expects MLB to approve the final sale of the Astros to Jim Crane’s group sometime over the next 3 to 4 weeks.

The two sides reached a $680 million purchase agreement back in May, but it’s taken several months to get approval from Major League Baseball.

Crane has a bit of a bad reputation, warranted or not, and there’s some speculation that the commissioner’s office is trying to get his permission to move the team from the National League Central to the American League West — holding the sale approval over his head until he agrees. Whatever the case, it sounds as though McLane has been told by someone somewhere that progress is being made.

We should find out before the end of the World Series how MLB really fells about Crane and his crew.

Scooter Gennett wins arbitration case against Reds

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The Reds lost their first arbitration case of the offseason, per a report from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Second baseman Scooter Gennett was awarded the $5.7 million salary figure he was seeking from the team, a $600,000 bump over the $5.1 million they countered with last month.

Gennett, 27, is coming off of a career-best performance in 2017. After getting claimed off of waivers by the Reds last March, he broke out with an impressive .295/.342/.531 batting line, 27 home runs and 2.4 fWAR in 497 plate appearances. By season’s end, he ranked among the top five most productive second basemen in the National League (and 12th overall). He’s currently set to remain under team control through 2019.

Gennett was only the second Reds player to go to an arbitration hearing this winter. Fellow infielder Eugenio Suarez was defeated in arbitration last week and stands to make just $3.75 million compared to the $4.2 million he filed for in January. All 22 arbitration cases have now been resolved. Twelve were decided in favor of the players.