Crane updates possible Triple-A, spring training moves
According to owner Jim Crane, the Astros have talked to the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs (Miami Marlins) about buying their team.
The sale would be a part of the Astros’ plans to relocate its Triple-A team from Oklahoma City to north of The Woodlands.
“We’ve talked to the Zephyrs,” Crane said on Monday afternoon. “First of all, we’ve got to get a location and a commitment from the financing to build something north of town. As soon as we can get that, then we’re looking to purchase a Triple-A franchise to move there. There’s a number of them that we’ve looked at and that we’ve talked with.”
The possible move is still two to three years in the future, Crane said. Before anything can happen, the Astros will need to get approval and a facility built. While the Astros have talked to the Zephyrs, there are other teams they’re interested in also.
“The players would be close,” Crane said. “We don’t think it would distract from our crowd here and make it easy on everybody to scout, the Triple-A scouts to scout other teams. Economics look good and the efficiency looks good.”
Crane said that if they can’t work something out, the Astros would continue to extend their relationship with Oklahoma City, which houses their Triple-A team now.
“There’s a couple major league teams that have had their Triple-A team close and it’s worked out for them and we’ve studied that and asked them about it,” Crane said.
In addition to a potential move of the Astros’ Triple-A team, the organization is trying to move their spring training facilities to the east coast of Florida. The Astros are interested in moving and sharing a facility with another club. They have already talked to the Blue Jays about a possible arrangement.
While the Astros have talked to the Blue Jays, there are also other teams interested in the same type of arrangement. Ideally, the setup would include two separate training facilities with a shared stadium.
“We’re trying to anchor the east coast over there, so we’re in the same situation there,” he said. “I think that one’s a little further along, that if we get approval from the state and the local group comes up with the money, we’d have enough financing to put two teams down there.”