Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/26/13

Jim Crane has said he would spend money on the Astros when the time is right but it sure looks like he has the money to spend now. Forbes magazine reports the Astros who have the worst record in the major leagues are on track to make $99 million in operating income this season more than the last eight World Series champions combined. The Astros did not respond to Forbes’ request to discuss the team’s finances. The formula according to Forbes was simple and has been well reported: They have become so profitable thanks to slashed payroll expenses and soaring television revenues. Since becoming the Astros’ owner in 2011 Crane has gutted the team of its most expensive players while building up the farm system. Over the course of this season the team will pay its players an estimated $21 million in salary and bonuses. That is down $56 million from 2011 when Crane bought the team. Forbes does give Crane credit for not gouging fans by introducing fan-friendly policies at Minute Maid. The report speculates that Crane could use the money to pay down $275 million of debt he used to acquire the team in 2011.

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