Following the sign-stealing scandal, Houston Astros owner Jim Crane parted ways with general manager Jeff Luno and manager AJ Hinch. Adding Dusty Baker was a safe choice given his experience and success in the position, but for front office management, James Click was captured from Tampa Bay.
Click was not well known by baseball fans, but after Lono exited, his entry was followed by praise for his analytical mind after he helped create baseball flyer And the Rays franchise has prompted a set of consistent post-season deliveries.
But since the Houston Astros picked the AL Pennant in 2020, then failed to win the World Championship a year later, Click didn’t have much success via trade or free agency. His moves aren’t flashy compared to Luhnow’s acquisitions of Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke.
The Astros are in the midst of a bid for a second world title in six years, but the future of the general manager position could see a new face this season, according to Ken Rosenthal the athlete.
Rosenthal said, “Jim Crane is a demanding owner. Some might say he was a tough owner.” Sports Baseball Show. “If I’m not mistaken, Click’s contract is over. I don’t know that for a fact but it should have been around then.
“And that’s at least something where there could be some maneuvering in my view if the Astros are somehow in qualifying, which I honestly don’t expect.”
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Some of Click’s most impressive moves have come at a lower level: the acquisition of Cleveland’s Yainer Diaz with Phil Matton, signing Ryne Stanek on a cheap contract ahead of the 2021 season, and getting both Trey Mancini and Christian Vázquez into this year’s trade deadline.
While Michael Brantley’s re-sign can be credited to Click, Crane was the one to step in and finalize the show before Brantley walked in and signed with the Toronto Blue Jays.
But without the first- and second-round picks for two summers, it was clear that the already depleted farm system hadn’t tempted many of the trading partners, making Click’s job even more difficult as he looked to preserve the franchise’s future.
Click said the Astros will be strong on the 2022 trade deadline. The club hasn’t moved on to big-name players as many expected, with first baseman Josh Bell in the market, but Click still cemented gaps in the roster with Mancini and Vazquez. The GM Astros simply didn’t have the same rich system to work with as Luhnow.
If Houston fails to win a sixth consecutive MLS championship, Crane could seek a replacement. Hinch has closed off any questions about a potential General Manager opening, but from Crane’s previous goals, the two could discuss a reunion at some capacity this off season.
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