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Astros consider increased Venezuela presence

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07:21 AM ET 08.30 | At one point, Houston had made itself a force in scouting Venezuela. [The Astros] became the first team to open a baseball academy there in 1989 before closing it after five years for several reasons, including an unstable political climate. ... The Astros, who wound up signing future stars Johan Santana, Bobby Abreu and Freddy Garcia out of Venezuela, are considering a renewed presence to the South American country by establishing a team there in the fall as a precursor to perhaps becoming more involved in player development. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said director of international scouting Oz Ocampo has been investigating having a partial or full Astros team in the Parallel League, which is basically the Minor Leagues of Venezuela.

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