Overhead general view of Minute Maid Park during a game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Houston Astros in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The saga of Jim Crane's attempt to buy the Houston Astros has dragged out for several months. So has talk about realigning the National and American Leagues into two 15-team leagues.
Now, we learn from a tweet from SI.com's Jon Heyman that both of these things might be getting close to actually happening:
Or, it could be more than that:
Jim Crane has not yet been approved by MLB owners as the owner of the Houston Astros, but this tweet seems to indicate that such approval is getting close. Crane's purchase price has not been revealed, but Heyman says MLB is, essentially, giving him $50 million to agree to move the Astros to the AL West in 2013.
Once Crane is approved by the other owners as Houston's new owner, it's presumed this means that realignment will be made official and that 2012 will be the last season played with two leagues of unequal size. A schedule that would take into account this move and other factors, including use of the DH and possible expansion of the playoffs, have been discussed in many places (including here at Baseball Nation) but nothing is anywhere close to official.