McLane: 'Still negotiating' sale of Astros

McLane: 'Still negotiating' sale of Astros

HOUSTON -- Despite a report of an imminent purchase agreement with Houston businessman Jim Crane, Astros owner Drayton McLane said there is no news regarding the sale of the club.

Houston television station KRIV reported on its website late Tuesday, citing Major League Baseball sources, that a deal between McLane and Crane would be signed next week and that the two sides were finalizing legal documents with nothing standing in the way of a deal getting done.

McLane told MLB.com Tuesday afternoon he's still in negotiations to sell the club to Crane, but he did not say a deal was in place. McLane acknowledged last week he had entered into an exclusive negotiating window with Crane.

"I haven't signed anything, Jim Crane and his group hasn't signed anything and Major League Baseball hasn't signed anything," McLane said Tuesday. "We're still negotiating, so there's nothing to report."

McLane announced in November that he was accepting offers for the sale of the club he purchased more than 18 years ago, and he said he desired local ownership. Crane is the CEO and founder of Houston-based Crane Capital Group.

McLane said in December 2009 that he had a tentative agreement with Crane to purchase the Astros following the 2008 season, but a deal couldn't be reached. Crane previously bid to purchase the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers.

The negotiations are being handled by Steve Greenberg of Allen & Company, a New York-based investment bank. Greenberg said in March he was in discussions with multiple parties and that the process was "closer to the finish line than we are the starting line," but he didn't acknowledge Crane's interest.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.