Houston Astros owner Jim Crane says franchise 'very well could extend' contract with RedHawks

Jim Crane still envisions having his team's Triple-A franchise in the Houston suburbs. But he says his franchise could very well continue its affiliation with the Oklahoma City RedHawks in the meantime.
by Michael Baldwin Published: January 27, 2014

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane reiterated at the team's caravan stop Monday that his long-term vision is to own all of the Astros' minor league affiliates after he purchased Double-A Corpus Christi late last season.

The RedHawks are owned by Mandalay Baseball Properties, which runs five minor league teams. The Astros/RedHawks contract expires following the upcoming season.

Crane still envisions a Triple-A ballpark in the suburbs north of Houston. But since there are no immediate plans to construct a Triple-A stadium, will the Astros sign a two-year extension with the RedHawks?

“These guys here have done a great job for us,” Crane said. “We may extend the contract. Right now we don't have a place to go. We have to look at where we'll be next year. We very well could extend here.”

The RedHawks will always play at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. It's simply a matter of which Major League Baseball team they're affiliated with. The Astros filled the void when the Rangers ended a 28-year relationship in 2009.

“We've made it clear as an organization we'd like to own our Triple-A team, but right now there's nothing in the works,” Crane said. “Our team is here ... We like this market. This is a great ballpark and these folks (Mandalay) do a great job.”

Crane's primary focus is the upcoming season in Houston. The Astros are coming off three consecutive 100-loss seasons, but there are signs better days are ahead.

When he purchased the Astros following the 2011 season, Crane inherited a 106-loss team. The minor league system was the worst in baseball. He hired Jeff Luhnow from the Cardinals organization to be the general manager who orchestrated the rebuilding project.


by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    College of Charleston president orders second investigation of Doug Wojcik
  2. 2
    Joe Paterno's son Jay sues Penn State for 'improper termination'
  3. 3
    Former Dallas Cowboys running back Robert Newhouse dead at 64
  4. 4
    Oklahoma man gets consecutive 20-year terms for rapes of intellectually challenged classmates
  5. 5
    Angels won't cap former OU pitcher Garrett Richards' innings
+ show more