Astros part ways with GM James Click

HOUSTON — The World Series champion Astros are looking for a new general manager after owner Jim Crane announced Friday that James Click will not be returning for the 2023 season.

“We are grateful for all of James’ contributions,” Crane said in a statement. “We’ve been very successful in each of his three seasons, and James has been a big part of that success. I want to thank him personally and wish him and his family continued success.

Click wasn’t immediately available for comment, but a source told MLB.com Click turned down a one-year contract to return to the Astros, who just six days earlier had defeated the Phillies to win the World Series. Crane said he spoke briefly with Click before the team’s victory parade on Monday, and Click flew to Las Vegas to represent the team at general manager meetings, although his contract expired Oct. 31.

The Astros brought back manager Dusty Baker on a one-year contract which was announced at a press conference on Wednesday, at which time Crane said he would have more talks about Click’s future upon his return. from Vegas.

“But you know, James did a good job,” Crane said Wednesday. “He stepped in and made some good moves. We’ll sit down and see where we end up with James.

The Astros also parted ways with assistant general manager Scott Powers on Friday, a source told MLB.com. Hired in January, Powers helped oversee research and development, performance science, people operations and innovation. He was hired around the same time as assistant general manager Andrew Ball, who helps with Major League roster management, player contracts, player sourcing, salary arbitration and amateur scouting.

Click, who came to the Astros after 14 years with the Tampa Bay Rays, said Tuesday that uncertainty about his future in Houston hasn’t stopped him from enjoying the Astros’ World Series title.

“It was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had in my entire life,” he said. “I’m going there [at the GM Meetings] and so many people who didn’t have a chance to win the title came up to me and said, ‘Is it worth it, what we’re all going through and how long we’re away from our families? I will tell you unequivocally, yes. It’s totally up to par.

Click was hired in February 2020 – days after Baker – following the sign-stealing scandal that cost manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow their jobs. In three seasons as general manager, the Astros have won two American League pennants, including the World Series this year.

With less than a month to go before the Winter Meetings, the Astros will have to work quickly to find a replacement for Click. The Astros lost two key front office members in the past month when assistant general manager Pete Putila was named the Giants’ general manager and international manager Oz Ocampo was named the Marlins’ assistant general manager.

David Stearns, who worked under Luhnow with the Astros from 2012 to 2015, resigned as president of baseball operations in Milwaukee on October 27 but remains under contract with the Brewers for 2023 and is not interested in returning in Houston.

“I’m just going to repeat what I said before: I’m not going anywhere,” Stearns told MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy on Friday. “I undertake to advise Mark [Attanasio, Milwaukee’s principal owner] and [general manager Matt Arnold] in every possible way. And that’s it.”

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