The story line in regard to the future ownership of the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Houston Astros Triple-A Affiliate, finally has reached a pinnacle of sorts.
But it wasn’t the pinnacle I was looking for…
According to Mike Baldwin of The Oklahoman, a purchasing group that is associated with the Los Angeles Dodgers will step in and buy the team meaning that the Astros’ four-year marriage is about to be annulled.
The team, currently owned by Mandalay Entertainment Group, has been on the block for sale since April of last year.
At that same time, they announced the sale of their entire minor league baseball ownership portfolio and focusing their strategies elsewhere.
Although this report has not been confirmed yet by the parties involved, it’s apparent that they’re in the final stages of negotiations to complete the sale.
It’s estimated that the franchise will sell for between $22 million and $28 million.
So what does this mean for the Houston Astros?
It means that the search is on to find a new a Triple-A home for our prospects that are at the cusp of making it to the big leagues.
I’m positive that Mandalay’s asking price would be too much for the Astros to bear, considering that they’ve been doing everything they can to keep their costs low and keep churning out quality ballplayers out of the farm for us to see.
Jim Crane has longed for quite some time to own a Triple-A ball club and he is looking at building a ballpark in The Woodlands, an area that has seen enormous growth over the past couple of years. Businesses and residents alike, current and new, are flocking in droves to a once quiet, sleepy, heavily-wooded suburb of Houston.
Not now, those trees are coming down…
However, that deal is years away; and, in the meantime, the Astros must seek a hub for their prospects.
It has been said that possible landing spots for the Astros’ Triple-A operations would be either in Albuquerque or in Fresno, Calif.
Coincidentally, the Dodgers are currently affiliated with the Albuquerque Isotopes but the partnership has gone sour as the team feels that the arid environment they play in is not conducive to what they’d experience at Dodger Stadium. So they’ll be looking for a clean break from the franchise.
They were having them humidifying balls out there for Pete’s sake!
If the sale goes through, then the Isotopes will be looking for a affiliate and the Astros may fit that bill.
Anyway, the Astros have worked with the RedHawks for four years and relationship seemed to be going well.
We’ve had some quality prospects come out of there that will be the anchors of our future; but, as with life, things change.
Where will our Triple-A team be next year?
We shall see…
But rather the big question is, would minor league baseball work in The Woodlands?
I say absolutely but I’ll have to save that for another post…