Report: McLane mulling sale of Astros

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane is considering an offer to sell the team, a television station reported.

McLane, who’s owned the team since 1993, has signed a working letter of intent to sell the team to a group consisting of local and out-of-town investors, KTRK-TV reported.

McLane told the TV station that the investors “have to show us that they have the financial capability to do the deal and they have to show us the people, because we’d only do something if it were really, highly reputable people and that there were a lot of Houston people that were involved in it.”

McLane, 73, bought the team in November 1992 for $117 million. He told KRIV-TV that he’s given the group until the end of January to negotiate a deal.

But McLane also told KRIV that he hasn’t set a price for the team, and added “there’s probably less than a 50-50 chance” of a sale, “for various reasons.”

McLane recently acknowledged that he listened to an offer to sell the team from Houston businessman Jim Crane in October 2008. McLane said in a statement released in December that “Jim offered a fair price, but we were unable to reach agreement on other terms.”

Since McLane purchased the team, the Astros have ranked sixth in the majors in winning percentage (.530) and made six playoff appearances, including the franchise’s only World Series appearance in 2005.