Drayton McLane Officially Puts Astros On The Block (World Series Championship Not Included)

Astros owner Drayton McLane officially announced this afternoon, in very Texas-y fashion, that he's ready to sell the team.

He held up his hand like a pistol and said: "We're firing the pistol today."

Beyond that, the only additional information is that there is no additional information.

McLane said there is no set price, no time frame for the sale ("Could last three months or three or four years"), and no buyer in mind (McLane said several interested buyers did call last night, but didn't name any names.)

It'd be nice to have a buyer from Texas or, even better, Houston, who is a fan of the team and ready to invest money to win, but, McLane said, that's not a main priority.

"They don't have to be Texans or live here," he said. "But they do have to be involved."

So rest easy, Astros fans, the team's next owner will certainly without a doubt and definitely be "involved."

McLane himself said today that during his last 18 years of ownership, he's only spent about one-third of his time focused on the Astros, while most owners in Major League Baseball spend about 90 percent of their time on the team they own.

The other two-thirds were spent on other business ventures, with his sons, and he said that after the Astros, he'll continue with all that other stuff.

As far as a time line, we'd bet it takes much less time than McLane's "three or four years" because the Astros brought in Steve Greenberg to handle the sale.

Greenberg, who has been called "The King of the Sports Deal,"  was a part of, along with about a million other things, the sale of the Milwaukee Brewers, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Washington Wizards.

But as far as a price, who knows.

"I've been doing this a long time," Greenberg said. "And I never talk about price."

McLane, however, said it was "very encouraging" to see the Texas Rangers go for $590 million in a bankruptcy auction. And Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Houstonian Jim Crane, who tried to buy the Astros a few years back, put in a $580 million bid for the Rangers.

Even if the deal doesn't get done soon, McLane says that's okay. He's still has and will, he says, spend money on the team.

And to prove that, McLane referenced investments in a new baseball academy in the Dominican Republic and $12 million worth of improvements to Minute Maid Park that will give your Astros the second biggest scoreboard in the Major League.

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