How much is a league-switch worth? According to this story in the New York Post, Jim Crane thinks it’s worth $50 million:
Potential Houston Astros owner Jim Crane is looking to cut $50 million from the purchase price of the team in exchange for the Astros switching leagues, The Post has learned … Sources told The Post that Crane — who reached a deal in May to buy the Astros from Drayton McLane for $680 million — is asking for a price reduction in the $50 million range to make the move.
Apparently this is a reasonable enough demand to where MLB is negotiating with him on it and “they’re in the ballpark.”
Things that justify some discount, I presume, are the later games the Astros will have to play due to trips to Anaheim, Oakland and Seattle as opposed to the almost-entirely central time zone schedule they have in the NL Central. Of course the novelty of new competition and the new rivalry with the Rangers may very well add to the coffers in the short term.
Everything it negotiable, it seems.