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Owner Jim Crane, Astros focused on Jose Quintana and Sonny Gray with new draft picks in tow

The compensation pick could loom large for the Astros in pursuit of pitching.

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Chicago White Sox v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Houston Astros pursuit of pitching this offseason came to a scratching halt with the Chicago White Sox asking price for Jose Quintana. But the addition of the $2 million and two picks from the St. Louis Cardinals could reopen the conversation — at least Astros owner Jim Crane feels that way.

Crane spoke with USA Today's Bob Nightengale while Crane was touring the Astros’ new Spring Training at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches this week. A portion of that conversation turned to the Astros needs entering the 2017 season and the pursuit of pitching upgrades.

They opened their checkbook and brought in All-Stars Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Josh Reddick, and now plan to grab one more starting pitcher. They have been primarily focusing on Jose Quintana of the Chicago White Sox and Sonny Gray of the Oakland Athletics, Crane says.

The biggest change for the Astros was the second pick that came over from the Cardinals — No. 75 pick in the competitive balance round B. Teams can trade competitive balance draft picks.

A draft pick could be more valuable to a team that rebuilding like the White Sox or A’s.

How would that change the White Sox’s asking price? It could help make headway from Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker, and Joe Musgrove, the reported original asking price.