Astros hire Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills as new manager
Manny Acta chose Cleveland over Houston when offered both manager jobs, but the Astros announced this afternoon that they’ve found a new skipper in Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills. Mills and Terry Francona are longtime friends, playing together first at the University of Arizona and then with the Montreal Expos. Francona became the Phillies’ manager in 1997 and hired Mills as first-base coach, and then brought him on board as his bench coach after taking the Red Sox job in 2004. Interestingly, current Houston general manager Ed Wade fired Francona when he held the same job in Philadelphia. Prior to becoming a fixture of Francona’s coaching staffs Mills managed in the minors for over a decade, so the 52-year-old brings quite a bit of experience to the table. He faces an uphill climb in Houston, because the Astros went 74-88 this season with an aging core of players and don’t have much in the way of high-upside prospects ready to contribute. Mills previously interviewed for the Mariners job that went to Don Wakamatsu last offseason. He reportedly gets a two-year deal with a third-year option from the Astros.