Astros GM, Jeff Luhnow was recently asked by a sports reporter for a Houston television station about the status of Brad Mills with the team and his future with the team. Since being hired as Astros manager in 2010 by then GM, Ed Wade, Mills has compiled a record of 158-226. The Astros have a club option for next season.
Luhnow praised Mills for the job he has done thus far during the interview and had the following to say about Mills’ job this year:
"“The veterans trust him and the young players can ask him questions and not feel they are asking the wrong question. He is stern when he needs to be but he’s also friendly when he needs to be. He’s a really good combination of the personalities that you need for this ball club.”"
When prompted about Mills future with the team and whether or not the Astros would pick up his option for 2013, Luhnow said:
"“We’re really looking at every opportunity to improve the team for the long term. Really towards the end of the season we’re going to take a look at who are the players that are going to be here long term and what can we do to make sure that that happens and take a look at the staff from top to bottom and make sure it aligns with the players that we have on the field.”"
That’s not exactly a glowing endorsement, nor is it a sign of doom. Mills was put in a weird situation to say the least. His first year on the job, the club traded franchise icons, Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman. Then last year, the Astros traded Hunter Pence who was undoubtedly the face of the franchise. This year the team figures to trade veteran pitchers Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers and maybe Carlos Lee if they can find a team willing to absorb his contract and offer up a decent enough prospect in return. Mills went from having a veteran team that he thought could contend, to seeing the team blown up and the rebuilding process started. Part of me believes that the club may want a fresh start with a new manager as they move to the American League next year, but the more I think about it, the more I think they will pick up the option on Mills’ contract.