HOUSTON – Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow tells KHOU 11 Sports reporter Daniel Gotera that the team will determine at the end of the season whether or not Brad Mills will return in 2013.
The Astros have a club option for next season.
"We’re really looking at every opportunity to improve the team for the long term," says Luhnow. "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."
Since taking over the team in 2010, Mills has compiled a record of 158-226. Luhnow is pleased with how the team has played so far and says Mills should take some credit for working with such a young team.
"The veterans trust him and the young players can ask him questions and not feel they are asking the wrong question," says Luhnow. "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."
Through 60 games, the Astros have a record of 26-34, far exceeding what many though the team would do in 2012 with so much young talent.
"We knew we had a small margin for error and that everyone stayed healthy we probably would be more competitive than we were given credit for," says Luhnow.
Luhnow himself has gotten a lot of credit for the way he has handled the team in his first year as general manager. Instead of signing veterans, he has let the young guys play. Some, including Jose Altuve and Justin Maxwell, have flourished in their roles, giving Luhnow a lot of hope for the future.
"You have to watch out for the Houston Astros and we’ve been talking like that all year," says Luhnow. "I do think teams tend to overlook us when we come into town or when they come to Houston and you know what? We’ll take that for a little while."
Luhnow also told KHOU 11 Sports that the team was a player in Jorge Soler sweepstakes, until they removed their name from the bidding last week. Soler is a Cuban outfielder who reportedly signed a 9-year, $30 million deal on Monday with the Chicago Cubs.