Luhnow On Rebuilding, Free Agents, Payroll, Norris

Astros GM Jeff Luhnow made an appearance on Astroline Radio yesterday, discussing a variety of topics about the team. You can listen to the interview here, though Astros' senior director of social media Alyson Footer provided a partial transcript. Here are the highlights…

  • "[Our] plan involves us building from within, developing a system that can be productive and allow us to compete year in and year out," said the GM. "How long it takes until we’re competing year in and year out, I don’t know at this point."
  • Luhnow said they will "be a small market team for a few years" as they rebuild, meaning they will avoid big free agent contracts.
  • The Houston market is big enough that the Astros can support a large payroll, but the team has "milestones along the way that [they're] going to need to hit" if they want to approach $100MM.
  • The team plans to emphasize both scouting and statistical analysis to make the best decisions as they move forward.
  • Luhnow does not plan to trade right-hander Bud Norris. "He is a critical part of the plan moving forward," said the GM.


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22 Comments on "Luhnow On Rebuilding, Free Agents, Payroll, Norris"


Jon Melton
3 years 6 months ago

I love how Baseball people use the we are building from within statement. Code for we are broke.

Tired_OF_FakeRumors
3 years 6 months ago

Best example…… The New York Mets.

mwagner26
3 years 6 months ago

Not sure if trolling…

3 years 6 months ago

No, most smart teams build from within. Look at the Rays for instance, most of their talent is from within. Even the Yankees are starting to adopt the philosophy and hold onto their prospects. Look at their most popular players starting with Jeter. All grown from within.

Jon Melton
3 years 6 months ago

A combination is what works best.  Rays great pitching not enough hiting to compete in playoffs. If they could afford to sign some hitiing to go along with the pitching then yes.

Casor_Greener
3 years 6 months ago

There’s no tried and true formula.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. The best teams are a combination of both, very few teams are built entirely from within.

3 years 6 months ago

Oh I fully agree with you, but the key to your comment is a combination of both. You really need a farm system and youngsters from within that you can add a few big pieces with. The Astros are were last in every single minor system last year. So they need to build that up before spending on any big free agents, that is all I was referring too.

The difference unlike the Rays luckily for the Astros is, that in a few years once the farm system is build up like it was in the 90s, they should be able to afford the extra bats, arms so forth from free agency to push them over the hump. They use to continually have over a 100 million dollar payroll, just does not make since to do that when you are in full rebuilding mold

Once our young guys like Cosart, Singleton, Springer, this years number pick get to their free agency in a few years we should have the resources to resign them because we won’t have spent $100 million on a Carlos Lee type.

mwilly33
3 years 6 months ago

As an Astros fan, I’m not at all worried about taking the “frugal” road. We still have the excess of Carlos Lee to stare at very time we go to MMP, so it’s nice to know they won’t be getting tied up in all that mess right now.

Also, this ownership group is leveraged to the hilt, so it just wouldn’t make much financial sense to go out and make a bunch of long term, big dollar, commitments right away. Then we’d be going through a Dodgers situation in 5 or 6 years instead of being consistently competitive in that same timeframe.

Totally agree about Bud Norris too. I heard an interview he did with a local station recently and I really like what he had to say. Sounds like a confident guy with the right attitude for what their about to go through. Oh, and he’s pretty good.

Jon Melton
3 years 6 months ago

Astros have a long road ahead and moving to the AL will be an adjustment for sure,  not saying they should run out and sign all big name free agents,  just saying its funny how its a funny statement along with we will field a competitive ball club and such.

3 years 6 months ago

I think their ‘plan’ should be to try to win more than 60 games.

Hal_Jordan77
3 years 6 months ago

Or just win 60 first.  Then 70 the next year.  Then 80, 90, etc.

3 years 6 months ago

We are just as terrible at the Rangers were in the 90s.

stroh
3 years 6 months ago

You mean like the Rangers were from 1971-2009.

Tired_OF_FakeRumors
3 years 6 months ago

Bud Norris… Hes real identity is Chuck Norris…

Leonard Washington
3 years 6 months ago

Good luck Astros. Maybe a wildcard in like 6-8 years in your lucky.

3 years 6 months ago

Maybe you will learn English and not drop out of the 9th grade in your next life.

Leonard Washington
3 years 6 months ago

Maybe you shouldn’t pick at small grammatical errors on a baseball website professor. I’m sure you’ve missed typed something throughout your time commenting on MLBTR so please just can it.

3 years 6 months ago

If the Astros bottomed out in 2011 with 56 wins, then I think we are 34 games from playoff territory.  90 wins should about do it. So let’s see how many games they can improve in 2012 and 2013. When the Astros get to 80 wins, at that point   the ownership better turn loose of the fan’s gate receipts and PAY for some top talent.  

Leonard Washington
3 years 6 months ago

They are very likely to do even worse this year facing AL West teams like the Angels, and Rangers on the regular. The Astros are likely to have the worst record in baseball next year or at least be in the top three. 

Hal_Jordan77
3 years 6 months ago

The Astros won’t be in the AL West this year.

Leonard Washington
3 years 6 months ago

Really? I thought they were. Huh is it the start of the 2013 season then?

Hal_Jordan77
3 years 6 months ago

Yes.