Former Washington Nationals manager Manny Acta says he has been contacted by the Houston Astros about their managerial opening.

"To interview with the Astros is very exciting," Acta told Houston TV station KRIV yesterday.

Acta did not say when he would be meeting with club officials. He was fired by the Nationals during the season.

The Astros finished 74-88 in 2009. They fired Cecil Cooper on Sept. 21 and promoted third-base coach Dave Clark to run the team over the final 2 weeks. Clark is a candidate for the manager's job.

Noteworthy

* First base and outfield coach Andy Van Slyke will not return to the Detroit Tigers. He played under Tigers manager Jim Leyland in Pittsburgh for the eight seasons and was on Detroit's coaching staff for four seasons.

* Hal Lanier, who managed the Houston Astros to a division championship in 1986, is the new coach of the minor league baseball team in Normal, Ill.

* The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired infielder Tony Abreu from the Dodgers to complete an Aug. 31 trade that sent pitcher Jon Garland to Los Angeles.

* The Gila River Indian tribe in Arizona is making a pitch to the Chicago Cubs to move their spring training site from Mesa to the tribe's site south of Phoenix.

* Slugger Barry Bonds attended the opening of a children's playroom at UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco after donating about $250,000 for renovations. *

* New Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos shook up his front office with a raft of changes to the team's scouting and development departments, headed by the hiring of former assistant general manager Tony LaCava as director of player personnel.