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Astros, Nats spring complex back in play

Washington NationalsA previously rejected land swap is back in play, as West Palm Beach officials say they’ll consider taking steps toward a new Houston Astros/Washington Nationals spring-training camp.

We have the full story on our sister site, Spring Training Online. Here’s the gist: Palm Beach County, which has already committed $108 million in hotel taxes toward a new Nats/Astros complex, wants to trade two acres of prime downtown land to West Palm Beach for 160 acres of less desirable land. West Palm Beach officials had rejected the trade previously, but today they announced the land swap was back in play.

The bigger picture: a new $135-million complex would solve facility issues for the Astros and the Nationals while keeping spring training in eastern Florida. Both teams have been open about the need for a new spring complex: the Astros aren’t happy with the facilities in Osceola County Stadium, and the Nationals aren’t happy with the Space Coast Stadium location in Viera. Currently the St. Louis Cardinals, Miami Marlins and New York Mets train in Jupiter and Port St Lucie, but all three have out clauses in their leases if fewer than four teams are left training in the region. A new West Palm Beach complex would retain the Nationals and add the Astros to the mix.

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