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Astros eye new spring facility in West Palm Beach

HOUSTON -- Astros owner Jim Crane said Sunday the team is "well on its way" to joining another club in relocating Spring Training facilities to the east coast of Florida and is awaiting financial backing from the state and local governments before something can be announced.

Crane wouldn't say which city the Astros were considering moving to when their lease in Kissimmee is up in 2016, but it's in the West Palm Beach, Fla., area. Crane said the Astros are in talks with other teams in Florida about sharing a facility in the area, which would put them close to the Nationals, Marlins and Mets.

"We'd anchor the east coast of Florida with the Mets, Marlins and Cardinals and you'd have five teams," Crane said. "It would be great and all those teams are all for it."

The owner said the project hinges on government funding.

"We've got to get the state to put up some money and the local city to put up some money, and they're willing to do it," Crane said. "It's in motion."

Meanwhile, Crane also said the club continues to explore moving its Triple-A club to The Woodlands, a suburb north of Houston. He said the Astros are pleased with their personal services contract with Oklahoma City, which expires in 2014, but he'd like to get the Triple-A team closer.

Of course, that would mean building a stadium and finding a team to relocate to the area, so that project is a long-term one. He said Craig Biggio has been "leading the way" regarding the The Woodlands project, but Biggio didn't want to comment.

"We've been looking at few spots, but there's a little work there to get that done," Crane said. "That's going to take a couple of years. You have to start planning it now. We're very happy with where we're at, and they've been good to us in Oklahoma City and we don't want to mess that up."

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

Houston Astros