How Did Jim Crane Buying the Astros Change the Team’s History Despite $1.6B Net Worth Lagging Behind His $3.1B Predecessor?

Published 10/03/2023, 10:00 AM EDT

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The conclusion of the months-long MLB playoff race has marked a historic moment. With the confirmation of 12 teams, the focus has shifted to the postseason to find out who will be the next champion. Though there are multiple contenders, the Houston Astros look settled for their title defense and third championship in the last six years. Given that the Stars never won any World Series before 2017, this success brings a question: What has changed for them lately?

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Notably, there has been a shift in the Astros’ fate in the last few years. A team that rarely made it to the playoffs in its history is now a challenger for the trophy every season. Given that it occurred following Jim Crane’s assumption of ownership of the franchise, many attribute its success to him. It also makes one wonder what Crane did differently from his $3.1 billion predecessor, Drayton McLane.

Did an Alteration in Ownership Change the Houston Astros?

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In the history of over 60 years, the last decade has been the best for the 2022 winners Houston Astros. All this has come in the last decade after $1.6 billion, Jim Crane became the owner of the Houston Astros in 2011. All thanks to his baseball knowledge and efforts, the Stars have won two World Series titles to date. Not only that, they have also won the AL West crowns six times in the last seven years to be one of the most consistent teams in the league. Due to all this, the team value has increased from $610 million to $2.25 billion and revenue of $407 million. But, what unique approaches did he employ to elevate the team to such a high level?

According to The Business Journals, the answer is simple: Crane chose reality over perception. Given the farm system is the bedrock of success, he strengthened it by bringing in the best. Some notable names from it are Jose Altuve and others.

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Instead of staying in the National League, the owner shifted to the American League with a discount of $70 million. He then brought the analytics into the picture and overhauled the team. Crane acted as a closer and released many players, improving the team structure. He also reduced the spending by signing players with potential on longer contracts.

His signing of 34-year-old Justin Verlander in 2017 was an example that helped them win two World Series. Now, applying the same odds, the Stars have made it to the playoffs as AL West champions. If the past is considered, it could give Crane another trophy to pick up. But will that be the case?

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Will the Success Story of Jim Crane Continue for Another Season?

Notably, this is the seventh straight playoff finish for the Astros, and they look in great shape to defend it. Although they were unclinical before, they have played better in the last few games. Their AL West wins after the wild card battle backs the same.

Soon After Securing Playoff Spot, Houston Astros’ Dusty Baker Mocks $87 Million Ace With a New York Mets Remark: “Thought He Was On the Mets”

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The Stars have played well on offense and defense. Both Alex Bregman and Justin Verlander have picked up the pace. With Kyle Tucker and Framber Valdez doing great, the Stars look in great shape. Plus, the playoff experience of these players also adds to their cause.
From this, it looks like Jim Crane can have another year of positive returns. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments.

WATCH THIS STORY – Every MLB Team That Has Never Won a World Series

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Written by:

Saurabh Saini

840Articles

One take at a time

Even after having an engineering background, nothing stopped Saurabh Saini from following his passion and writing about sports. With a sound knowledge of American sports, Saurabh specializes in baseball. Before joining EssentiallySports, Saurabh has written around 800 articles spanning MLB, NFL, and NHL.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj

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