Picollo, 40, is one of four candidates known to have been interviewed as new Astros owner Jim Crane seeks a replacement for dismissed GM Ed Wade.
With the Royals since August 2006, Picollo has played a major role in the revitalization of the Royals' Minor League organization which last winter was rated No. 1 in baseball. He formerly was director of Minor League operations for the Atlanta Braves.
Picollo and Royals general manager Dayton Moore withheld comment on the matter.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.