Brad Mills remains Astros manager despite ownership and front office shakeup

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When the Astros fired general manager Ed Wade there was speculation this his replacement might let manager Brad Mills go and bring in his own guy, but new GM Jeff Luhnow made it clear that won’t happen.

“Brad’s our manager,” Luhnow told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. “I had a good conversation with him, and I’m looking forward to working with him as our manager.”

Mills has a 132-192 record in two seasons in Houston, losing 86 games in 2010 and an MLB-high 106 games in 2011, but new owner Jim Crane described him as “a good developer of talent and that’s what we need.”

Lack of talent has certainly been a much bigger issue than Mills and with the Astros set for another ugly season in 2012 it makes sense for Luhnow to get settled in the job and reevaluate things next winter.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.