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Posted: Tuesday November 15, 2011 7:14PM ; Updated: Tuesday November 15, 2011 8:40PM

Proposed Astros sale expected to be approved Thursday

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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Ed Wade is focused on conducting the offseason baseball operations of the Houston Astros, even if his future with the team is uncertain.

With the proposed sale of the team from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane expected to be approved Thursday by major league owners, Wade is not fretting. He's working.

"We're business as usual," he said. "The proposed change or whatever which way you would say it, it's been there," he said Tuesday as general managers opened meetings at a downtown Milwaukee hotel.

"We've run through the draft, we've run through the trading deadline. We've run through the labor period and now we're at the general managers meeting and it still hasn't been finalized," Wade said.

Wade was the GM in Philadelphia before taking the job Houston and knows that the game's shifts are numerous. In fact, the Astros will likely end up in the AL after the sale is approved.

"I've been around," Wade said. "It's probably more difficult for people who are new to the organization. I think realistically if you've been in this game for a long time you recognize that uncertainty is a fairly standard circumstance."

Another GM is seeing some clarity following a tumultuous period - Ned Colletti of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball have agreed to a court-supervised sale of the once glamorous and now bankrupt franchise.

While the sides hope for a quick deal, giving McCourt the money to pay his divorce settlement by April, MLB sales sometimes drag on for six months to 1 1/2 years. Once bidders are identified, the court is likely to conduct an auction.

"We have some resolution, but we don't have complete resolution," Colletti said, adding that there is some relief that the episode is on its way -- apparently -- to being resolved.

"It takes you out of a situation that you don't know which way is going to go - not that we know how this is going to go, either. But it's at least one step," he said.

Colletti said the Dodgers were still working on details for Matt Kemp's eight-year, $160 million contract and that it could be completed before Thanksgiving.

Scott Boras, the agent for Prince Fielder, met with Brewers GM Doug Melvin on Tuesday. Fielder and Albert Pujols are the marquee free agents this offseason.

"We'll see how the markets play out. Our goal is to try to keep Albert Pujols," said Cardinals GM John Mozeliak, who's already hired Mike Matheny as manager to replace Tony La Russa, who resigned after winning the World Series.

Mozeliak said it's impossibe to remove emotions from a negotiation to retain Pujols, the Cardinals' star for the last decade.

"From a strategic standpoint, I don't think we need to divorce ourselves from that or to simply ignore that. The facts are, he's an iconic player. He's been the face of this organization for a long time," Mozeliak said.

"To deny that or to fail to recognize that, I don't think you're looking through the proper set of lenses."

New Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said he and new Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein talked again Tuesday about compensation for Epstein's departure from Boston with a year left on his contract.

Cherington said one of the problems in reaching a solution is that both he and Epstein are conducting a managerial search -- they've interviewed several of the same candidates, including Dale Sveum, who is supposed to meet with both teams for a second time in Milwaukee -- and they've been busy with transitions to new jobs.

"And there is no secret there is a bit of a disagreement on what the level of compensation should be," Cherington said. "Theo and I talked today. The more we talk, the more progress we make. I'm still optimistic and hoping that we can find a resolution."

Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president for baseball operations, gave a briefing of the first day of meetings.

"A couple of clubs brought up situations, we talked about some replay possibilities, ground rule possibilities, stuff like that," he said.

"We talked about some international issues, amateur workouts and tryouts and things like that."

Torre said expanding replay -- currently it determines whether home runs clear the fence and are foul or fair -- would take some work.

"I think the commissioner hinted at a possible fair-or-foul change. Again, once you make that statement, you start thinking about things that go along with it. If you call a ball foul and the replay shows it's fair, then where do you put the runners?" Torre said.

"It's not that easy to just say `let's replay this' or `let's replay that' when certain things come up."

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
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