David Price has a dog named Astro. Jeff Luhnow: “Maybe that is a sign of things to come”

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Jeff Luhnow is a guy I wanna play poker with. Not only can you look over his shoulder and see what cards he’s holding, but he’ll tip his hand verbally too!

Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow joined Nick Wright and John Lopez In The Loop on Tuesday morning on SportsRadio 610 and Price’s dog was brought up in the conversation because the pooch’s name is Astro.

“We’ve got some Vanderbilt guys in our system with (Tony) Kemp and (Conrad) Gregor,” Luhnow told Nick & Lopez. “I follow all the Vanderbilt chatter and I did know his dog’s name is Astro. Maybe that is a sign of things to come.”

If reports are to be believed, the Tigers are selling. And, for what it’s worth, the Astros (a) need a starting pitcher; and (b) have a lot of talent down on the farm from which to deal. If I’m Dave Dombrowski I call Luhnow and tell him to deal me in.

The Astros and Tigers have a long history of trading with one another. If they pull this off, I somehow expect Brad Ausmus and C.J. Nitkowski to be involved. And maybe one of the Brian Hunters. Even Jose Lima (RIP).

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.