Earlier in the week Peter Gammons tweeted that the Astros sale to Jim Crane was nearing approval and the Astros would be moving to the American League. This unconfirmed report was reacted to quickly by not only fans, but by Jim Crane as well. Crane, who is against moving to the A.L. reportedly flew to meet with Commissioner Bud Selig on Thursday. This was their second meeting in the span of a week. Fan reaction included a deluge of tweets, one of which links to an on-line petition that baseball fans can sign to show their desire to keep Houston in the National League. Please sign the petition!
This week the Astros continued trimming down the 40-man roster. Alberto Arias, J.R. Towles, and Jose Valdez have all cleared waivers. The enigmatic Towles will automatically become a Free Agent. Arias and Valdez may elect to become Free Agents or accept a minor league assignment. The 40-man roster currently stands at 35. The Astros are making room for players that will need to be added to avoid being subjected to the Rule 5 Draft this winter. Arias has missed the last two seasons with shoulder woes. Valdez made his big league debut with the Astros in 2011 at the age of 28.
The Astros also unveiled their 2012 Spring Training schedule, which includes a trip to Corpus Christi to play the Hooks. The Astros then travel home to Houston to host the White Sox for a two game series to close out the exhibition season. The entire Spring Training schedule can be found here.