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Astros move one step closer to new spring home

HOUSTON -- The Astros on Tuesday hope to clear their last major hurdle toward relocating their Spring Training operations to West Palm Beach, Fla., when the county votes to approve a land swap the city approved Monday night.

Palm Beach County officials will vote Tuesday morning on the land swap, which would all but pave the way for the Astros to build a two-team facility to be shared with the Nationals beginning in 2017. There still would be other hurdles, such as selling bonds and an easement issue with the Florida legislature, but approving the site would be the last major consideration. The financing had previously been approved.

The Astros and Nationals are looking to build a $135 million shared facility on 160 acres between Haverhill Road and Military Trail, about two miles west of I-95. West Palm Beach wanted 1.4 acres of land the county owns in downtown in exchange for the 160 acres on Haverhill.

The Astros' lease at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Fla., expires at the end of next spring, which means Houston likely has just two springs remaining in Central Florida before moving to Palm Beach County with the Nationals.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
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