The Astros' possible relocation, which is reportedly expected to take place in November, would result in an equal five teams for every division in baseball.
For months, the Houston Astros have been floated as a prime candidate to relocate from the National League to the American League. A timetable now appears to be taking shape, and the move seems more likely than ever. Wednesday morning, Peter Gammons tweeted:
Houston ownership change expected to go through in mid-November, w/ AL move.
Astros owner Drayton McLane is still attempting to sell the team to Houston businessman Jim Crane, who in the past has made unsuccessful attempts to purchase the Cubs and Rangers. Reportedly, commissioner Bud Selig has requested the team's move to the American League as a condition of ownership transfer.
The natural assumption is that the Astros would relocate to the A.L. West, which would finally result in the same number of teams for each division in baseball. One major benefit for fans, as our own Rob Neyer noted in June, is that the Rangers and Astros would be able to establish a meaningful rivalry.
The last team to switch leagues was the Milwaukee Brewers, who relocated from the A.L. Central to the N.L. Central after the 1997 season.
See how fans are responding to the possible move. Check in with SB Nation's Astros blog, The Crawfish Boxes.