HOUSTON -- In an effort to restructure their scouting department, the Astros informed at least eight scouts on Friday that their contracts wouldn't be renewed when they expire at the end of October. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow on Friday confirmed a report the Astros were letting go of some
HOUSTON -- In an effort to restructure their scouting department, the Astros informed at least eight scouts on Friday that their contracts wouldn't be renewed when they expire at the end of October. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow on Friday confirmed a report the Astros were letting go of some scouts but wouldn't reveal how many or any names. MLB Network analyst Peter Gammons reported eight scouts wouldn't be back.
Sources told MLB.com Friday that among the scouts the team informed wouldn't be returning were pro scouts Tucker Blair, Tim Moore, Paul Gale and Mike Wickham, and amateur scouts Zach Clark, John Martin, Mark Ross and Nick Venuto. In addition, pro scout Hank Allen is contemplating a part-time offer from the club, according to a source.
"As you know, this is the time of year when personnel changes begin to be made over the course of the next two or three months, leading up to the end of October," Luhnow said. "They're usually made across all areas. It's not something unusual. We've made changes this time of year before. One of the things we're trying to do this year is give people who are not having their contracts renewed ... we did notify them today."
Luhnow said the Astros are not reducing the size of the scouting department and said there would be some openings in scouting this offseason.
"We are reconfiguring our departments across the three areas [pro, amateur and international] and aligning our resources better for future opportunities, but the overall number of people in the scouting departments are going to be roughly the same, if not increased," he said. "This is not any sort of reduction in staff size and scouting.
"I also recognize that scouting has been and will continue to be a strength of our organization. It's very important for us. It has to be, and it has been and it will be. All the people that have been involved in our scouting operation have contributed to our current success, and we recognize and we thank everybody for that, but not everybody is going to have an opportunity to participate in the future. That's normal. That happens every year."
Venuto scouted the Midwest, Ross handled Wyoming and the Four Corners, Clark covered New England and Martin scouted central Florida.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.