He will be introduced by Crane on Thursday at Minute Maid Park.
"We are very pleased to have Jeff as the new General Manager of the Houston Astros," Astros president and CEO George Postolos said. "Jeff is the perfect fit for the Astros because of his track record in scouting and player development during his eight-plus seasons with the Cardinals.
Luhnow, 45, has served as a vice president with St Louis Cardinals since 2003, most recently serving as V.P. of Scouting and Player Development. He has overseen the Cardinals amateur draft since 2005, and his drafts have been widely recognized as among the most productive across baseball.
He added player development to his responsibilities in 2006 and in 2010 the Cardinals had the best system record in baseball with five minor league championships from the rookie leagues to Triple-A.
"The Astros strive to develop one of the best systems in baseball and create a consistent winner at the Major League level," Postolos added. "Jeff has the knowledge, skills and experience to lead the baseball operations efforts at all levels and help the Astros achieve this vision. Jeff has a demonstrated the ability to inspire and motivate staff in the front office and out in the field. He was born and raised in Mexico and his bicultural background will be an asset in recruiting players from Latin America and developing the Hispanic market for Los Astros."
Luhnow inherits a team that had just one winning season under his predecessor and went a woeful 56-106 in the 2011 campaign.