Astros hire Jeff Luhnow as general manager

By the Associated Press | December 8, 2011 | 1:06 AM EST

DALLAS (AP) — The Houston Astros have hired Jeff Luhnow as their new general manager, hoping he can help rebuild a team that finished with the worst record in the major leagues.

The Astros announced the move Wednesday night at baseball's winter meetings. Luhnow takes over for Ed Wade, fired along with team president Tal Smith last month in the first major changes by new owner Jim Crane.

The 45-year-old Luhnow had been a vice president with the St. Louis Cardinals since 2003. He has overseen the Cardinals' drafts for several years.

Houston went 56-106 last season.

The Astros became the seventh of the 30 major league teams to hire a new general manager or head of baseball operations since the end of the season.