One thing that has immediately stuck out about our new general manager is his openness and directness to many difficult questions. Tonight was no different, Jeff Luhnow was on Astroline with Alyson Footer and Milo Hamilton and discussed a number of different topics along with taking calls from Astros’ fans. It’s clear he has certain expectations and a strict plan on how he will rebuild the Astros. Even a crazy offseason and a still developing front office doesn’t appear to be deterring Luhnow from continuing down his desired road.
Jeff seemed very open when discussing the financial status of the club, stating once again that the team would build from within and only when it felt necessary would they go outside the organization. This makes sense, no need to push the envelope with contracts when the club is still a few years away. He would also acknowledge the Astros presence in Venezuela and how he would continue to scout in that area but no academy was in their plans. It also appears the Astros want to tap into the Mexican community, as Luhnow confirmed he had been in contact with a few clubs in Mexico to build a strong relationship with the Astros.
One of the more interesting notes by Luhnow was concerning Bud Norris. It appears Jeff really likes the young right-hander because he emphatically stated, Norris would be a building block going forward. This is quite a surprise, not because Norris isn’t talented but rather because after seeing a number of young pitchers moved this summer, it could be tempting to sell high with Bud. It assures Bud will be around for the rebuilding process and be an important bridge to the next era of Astros baseball. He also make it clear that there will be a ton of competition in spring training and players will have plenty of opportunity to make a serious impact come February.
Luhnow would also note meetings with Craig Biggio, Enos Cabell and Jose Cruz, and it certainly appears he intends to keep a very hands on approach, at least right now. He also expressed his excitement about moving to the American League and his fearless attitude when dealing with the powerhouses like the Yankees and Red Sox. Overall, it was a very informative hour for fans and it again shows the willingness to communicate with his public. Luhnow seems to understand that his fans are important and while he may be smarter than most, treating us like equals is vital to growing the fan base once again.