Results tagged ‘ general manager ’

The return of Mills makes sense

Despite all the changes the Astros have been going through in the last month, manager Brad Mills never really appeared to be in danger of losing his job. And deservedly so.

Mills, who will return for the final year of his contract in 2012, has two years under his belt as manager (132-192 record) and has seen the Major League club stripped and payroll dropped while the team stockpiles prospects in a rebuilding phase. Mills did a terrific job of keeping the Astros competitive in the second half of the 2010 season after losing Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman, and last season’s 106-loss campaign certainly couldn’t be put on him.

The Astros used 20 rookies last season, including starting second baseman Jose Altuve, third baseman Jimmy Paredes and outfielder J.D. Martinez, and had one of the youngest rosters in baseball, including an inexperienced bullpen. Mills’ mission has been to mold the young players and get them ready as quickly as possible while trying to win games, which is an extremely difficult challenge.

“Brad’s our manager,” new general manager Jeff Luhnow said Thursday when asked about his job status. “I had a good conversation with him, and I’m looking forward to working with him as our manager.”

Astros owner Jim Crane sang Mills’ praises.

“Brad’s a good developer of talent and that’s what we need,” he said. “I like Brad and I had a good time to visit with him and hear his input. We spent some time together [at the Winter Meetings] in Dallas, and Jeff feels the same way about him.”

Astros hire Luhnow as general manager

The Astros turned to their division rival and the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals for next general manager, announcing late Wednesday they had hired Cardinals vice president of player procurement Jeff Luhnow.

Astros owner Jim Crane will introduce Luhnow on Thursday at a 1 p.m. CT press conference at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

“We are very pleased to have Jeff as the new general manager of the Houston Astros,” Astros president and CEO George Postolos said. “Jeff is the perfect fit for the Astros because of his track record in scouting and player development during his eight-plus seasons with the Cardinals.

“The Astros strive to develop one of the best systems in baseball and create a consistent winner at the Major League level. Jeff has the knowledge, skills and experience to lead the baseball operations efforts at all levels and help the Astros achieve this vision. Jeff has a demonstrated the ability to inspire and motivate staff in the front office and out in the field. He was born and raised in Mexico and his bicultural background will be an asset in recruiting players from Latin America and developing the Hispanic market for Los Astros.”

Luhnow, 45, will take over a club in a major rebuilding phase. The Astros, coming off a club-record 106-loss season, are committed to rebuilding through player development under the ownership of Crane, who control of the club last month.

Luhnow has been a vice president with the Cardinals since 2003 and has overseen the Cardinals amateur draft since 2005. Many of the players that contributed to the Cardinals’ 2011 World Series title were drafted under Luhnow’s watch, including Jaime Garcia, Allen Craig, Jon Jay and Lance Lynn.

He added player development to his responsibilities in 2006 and was instrumental in the organization’s Minor League successes since that time, including the best system record in baseball in 2010 and five Minor League championships from the rookie leagues to Triple-A.

Luhnow has overseen the Cardinals’ scouting and development efforts in Latin America since 2004 that has produced Major League players and several top prospects. During his time with the Cardinals, the organization managed to build and maintain a strong farm system while at the same time winning at all levels, including three World Series appearances and two world championships.

Astros interview Dodgers’ Logan White

The Astros have interviewed Dodgers assistant general manager Logan White for their vacant general manager position, a Major League Baseball source told MLB.com.

White just completed his 10th season with the Dodgers and fifth as assistant GM in charge of scouting. White oversees the organization’s amateur and international scouting efforts and is the fourth know candidate to interview for the job that became vacant when Ed Wade was let go.

White interviewed with the Astros in 2007 prior to Wade’s hiring.

Astros president and CEO George Postolos had no comment.

Others known to have interviewed are Rockies senior vice president of scouting and player development/assistant general manager Bill Geivett, Cardinals vice president of player procurement Jeff Luhnow and Royals assistant GM in charge of scouting and player development J.J. Picollo.

The Astros are focused on GM candidates who have a strong track record in scouting and player development as they try to rebuild the club following a 106-loss season.

Geivett in Houston to interview with Astros

Bill Geivett, the senior vice president of scouting and player development/assistant general manager of the Colorado Rockies, arrived in Houston on Friday morning to interview with the Astros for their vacant general manager position.

The Astros are trying to fill their GM spot that became open when Ed Wade was dismissed last week after four-plus years.

“I’m very excited to be here and it’s a great organization and a great city and everybody knows a great state,” Geivett said. “I’m very excited and we’ll see how it goes today.”

Geivett is the first known candidate to come to Houston to interview, though the team has reached out to Tampa Bay Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and Texas Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine, who has since said he will stay with the Rangers.

“It’s a tremendous honor,” Geivett said.

Geivett, 47, oversees both scouting and player development for the Rockies, while also assisting GM Dan O’Dowd with all baseball decisions and evaluations. He joined the Rockies in 2000 and just completed his 11th season with the club and 24th in professional baseball.

The club’s director of player personnel since 2000, Geivett added the role of farm director in 2003. He came to Colorado from the Dodgers where he had worked since September of 1998, most recently as assistant GM (2000).

Geivett is the former special assistant to the GM for the Devil Rays and headed Montreal’s farm system for three years. He broke into the majors with the Yankees as a scout and organizational instructor in 1991. He coached collegiately at Loyola Marymount (1989) and Long Beach State (1990).

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