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Astros hire Jeff Luhnow as general manager

Dec 8, 2011, 12:41 AM EDT

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According to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, the Astros have hired Cardinals executive Jeff Luhnow to be their next general manager.

Luhnow had been serving as the Redbirds’ vice president of scouting and player development, and was instrumental in turning around a Cardinals farm system that was once devoid of quality depth.

It’s a great hire for the Astros, but Luhnow faces the ultimate uphill battle in Houston.

The ‘Stros don’t have much in the way of promising talent at the major league level and have only recently begun to rebuild their minor league system, which was largely ignored under the previous regime.

As long as the support from new owner Jim Crane is there, Luhnow is plenty equipped to get the franchise back on the right track. But it’s likely going to have to be part of a six- or seven-year plan.

  1. thekingdave - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    Crap on the Astros all you want, but this club declined 100% due to gross incompetence. This was a model franchise for many years until Tal Smith and Drayton McLane were butthurt my Gerry Hunsickers success.

    • stex52 - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:43 AM

      I have to say that in his latter time, Hunsicker was part of the decline. A lot of former Astros prospects are playing all over the league because he made runs at players for playoff pushes. Still, we obviously had a lot more success when he was there. Purpura was a nightmare.

      Wade worked out badly, but at least half of that was trying to follow Drayton’s orders.

      Here’s to better times. And sooner than six (!!) years.

  2. titans11 - Dec 8, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    Looks like this new owner is at least trying to rebuild the astros. Just hope he doesnt trade any future good players like old owner.

  3. paperlions - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:40 AM

    Well….that sucks.

    • stex52 - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:45 AM

      Show a little compassion here! The Cards happen to be my #2 team (along with many of the older fans in Houston). And we need the help.

      Cards organization has always been a class act. I will miss playing you guys.

      • paperlions - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:58 AM

        Oh, it is great for Houston. Lunhow turned the Cardinal farm system around very quickly despite constant battles with both TLR and Duncan about how to develop talent, and being constantly slammed by the local media who loved Jocketty. Through all of that he never wavered from his approach to scouting and developing talent, I just hope that there is someone that was working with him that can slide into that position without missing a beat.

    • Old Gator - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:46 AM

      What sucks is that this franchise is going to be playing designatedhitterball in a couple of years. This means that they’ll never be great at real baseball again.

      • stex52 - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:53 AM

        100% agreed on that one. But only the press asked my opinion (and that of 76% of Houston fans polled). I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that DH-ball is better than no-ball.

  4. stex52 - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    What’s with this six to seven years garbage? Wade rebuilt the scouting staff and the farm team structure three years ago. That was his plan. Execution may have been poor, but it’s pretty inaccurate to say it was ignored.

    • paperlions - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:00 AM

      It will take 6 or 7 years for the MLB team to be competitive. The organization has no talent anywhere at all….and the new CBA will make it harder to build a talent base quickly. It’ll be 3-4 yrs before guys drafted next year get a sniff of the majors, and a few more years for there to be any significant build up of talent at all that would justify supplementing with FA signings.

      • stex52 - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:06 AM

        You are playing with my worst fears. I agree; I have seen very little sign of the last four drafts paying off in the Minors. I wasn’t a Wade fan, but I did think he knew how to put together a scouting organization.

      • paperlions - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:09 AM

        Part of their problem was the unwillingness to go above slot, I think there was a year where the Astros only signed one of their top 5 draft picks. Plus, they lost picks all the time from dumb signings of Type A FAs.

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