The Houston Astros have had themselves a pretty terrible offseason and most of it is a mess of their own making. In addition to losing one of their best pitchers, Gerrit Cole, to free agency which in itself was both expected and less than good news, the team has experienced schadenfreude thanks to both their relationship with the media as well as the sign stealing scandal that rocked the sport and ultimately cost general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch their jobs (in addition to Red Sox manager Alex Cora who was the Astros’ bench coach during the time of the allegations) not to mention the loss of draft picks and a hefty fine.
While we have yet to fully understand the fallout from the scandals that have plagued the team, the short-term questions have surrounded who will be running the team while they try to pick up the pieces. Houston went to the safety net that is Dusty Baker to fill their vacant managerial spot, but the initial thought process about their GM position was that those duties could be divided amongst several internal candidates while the team took their time finding the right person.
Well, for an analytically driven organization, they would be hard pressed to find a better candidate than the one they landed on Monday despite the chaos that surrounded their search.
James Click will be the new general manager of the Houston Astros, per the team. The 42-year-old Click comes from the Tampa Bay Rays, where he had been elevated this offseason after Chaim Bloom left to run the Boston Red Sox.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 4, 2020
Looking to the Rays for executive talent was a logical step for the Astros to take when they want to continue the progress they have achieved in the last several years, but wanting an outside voice that was not connected to the scandal and its participants in any way. Click had already found himself in an elevated position when Chaim Bloom left to run baseball operations for the Boston Red Sox. Now, he finds himself at the helm of one of the more talented rosters in baseball, although the job will definitely have its challenges given the team’s missteps and the punishments that MLB handed down.
This could also have an adverse effect on the Rays who have lost two bright, young executives in a short amount of time this offseason. Given that it is the Rays, its possible that they will spend $20 on kid right out of college and end up having him as the GM for the next five years and somehow remain competitive before they trade him for international bonus slot money, but at the moment, one wonders if the Rays’ brain drain could finally catch up with them.