Buster Olney reports that Houston's new owner Jim Crane will be and wants to be involved in the Astros' draft process -- and that indicates an understanding that "the draft, and player development, must be the backbone of what the Astros do."
Other News and Notes from around MLB:
- The Yankees are dealing with a number of issues this year, but the Jorge Posada flap makes the Derek Jeter contract negotiation look small by comparison. There appears to be an effort to reestablish core team leadership similar to the 1996 team, where "the players' greater focus is on winning and not their place in the batting order."
- Boston too has recently gone through a similar situation with players with questionable priorities, namely with Manny Ramirez, and have also since tried to rebuild around "leadership qualities" with players like Dustin Pedroia.
- While Grady Sizemore is on the DL, Travis Buck will see many of the missing ABs.
- Tim Wakefield is replacing the now DL'd John Lackey
- Chipper Jones is testing his knee today -- and may have surgery.
- Cliff Lee is on his worst stretch as a professional, with six losses compounded by six walks last night.