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Crane: Astros would welcome Clemens back

Crane: Astros would welcome Clemens back

HOUSTON -- Astros owner Jim Crane said Monday he'd welcome Roger Clemens back into the organization and hoped soon to speak to the seven-time Cy Young Award winner, who signed a 10-year personal services contract with the Astros that began when his career ended.

Crane's comments came after a jury found Clemens not guilty of all charges at his federal perjury trial on Monday in Washington.

"I'm happy he got a good result, and we look forward to talking to him soon," Crane said. "Any time you get a Roger Clemens in the mix, you'd have to welcome him back with open arms."

Clemens, 49, retired following the 2007 season, pitched for the Astros from 2004-06 and was signed to a personal services contract by former owner Drayton McLane, who sold the Astros to Crane last year. Crane said the contract is still in place, though Clemens hasn't been involved with the team since 2007.

"We want to see what he wants to do," Crane said. "I'm sure he'll need a little time. He's been busy, but we definitely want to talk to him. He's got a contract with us, and he could add a dimension we might need somewhere down the road or immediately. As soon as he's ready to talk, we'll be ready to talk to him."

The Astros lured Clemens to his hometown Astros prior to the 2004 season, shortly after Yankees teammate Andy Pettitte had signed with Houston. With Clemens, Pettitte and Roy Oswalt at the top of the rotation, the Astros made the playoffs in 2004 and won the National League pennant in 2005.

Clemens pitched part-time for the Astros in 2006 and came out of retirement the following year to make a return to the Yankees.

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