Astros hire Jeff Luhnow as general manager

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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.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.