Astros owner Drayton McLane is expected to complete the sale of the team to Jim Crane in mid-November, according to Peter Gammons of MLB Network (on Twitter). The arrangement would move Houston to the American League West and even MLB into two leagues of 15 teams.
The sale of the Astros is intertwined with baseball's current round of collective bargaining. MLB is likely to add a Wild Card team by 2012 or 2013 and moving the Astros to the American League would likely accelerate expanded playoffs.
McLane recently said he expects the sale to be complete within three or four weeks. Last week, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes looked ahead to Houston's offseason.