Well Astros fans, after a long, overdue process, we finally have a new owner and his name is Jim Crane. The sale of the Houston Astros from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane was officially voted on and passed by the MLB owners today making Jim Crane the new owner of our Houston Astros. His press conference was short and sweet but in his radio interview afterwards with Charlie Palillo of Sports Radio 790 in Houston, he had some interesting things to say. He confirmed to Palillo that George Postolos will take over as CEO and Pam Gardner will be staying on as President of Business Operations. After that, he did not give any guarantees about anyone else’s job. He said they would begin evaluating staff members this coming Tuesday, November 22, and decisions would be made quickly but would not occur before Thanksgiving. He also said that continuing to solidify our minor league system remains a priority and that payroll would stay around the 60 mil range for right now. He also stated that we would not be players in free agency among big name free agents, which comes at no surprise as it would be very foolish to dish out a huge contract when you have already committed to rebuilding the big league club.
Judging from Crane’s answers, I think its safe to say that Tal Smith and Ed Wade will be let go sooner rather than later. A hot rumor a few months ago was that Gerry Hunsicker would return to the team as President of Baseball Operations and would be bringing Andrew Friedman over as GM. My prediction is that Friedman will be hired as GM of the Houston Astros after Wade is let go. Friedman is currently working without a contract in Tampa Bay and recently turned down the Angels offer to be their new GM. There have been no movements in a new contract for him with Tampa Bay. Call it a hunch, but I have a feeling Friedman will end up being the next GM. What changes, if any, he will make is anyone’s guess, but its sure to be an exciting time for our ball club. Make no mistake, Astros fans, this is a great day in Astros history. This team desperately needed a fresh, new direction and Jim Crane will certainly bring that.