Astros GM James exits after turning down 1-year offer

Astros GM James exits after turning down 1-year offer

Houston Astros announced on Friday that they “will not enter into renewal for the 2023 season” with general manager James Click, a bizarre conclusion to a three-year run that ended in a championship and somehow ended in divorce.

Click and manager Dusty Baker saw their contracts expire at the end of October and were only offered one-year deals earlier this week by Astros owner Jim Crane in the wake of the team’s World Series victory. Baker, 73, chose to accept him. Click, 44, and Crane spent weeks negotiating a contract that ultimately did not materialize, leaving the makeup of the Astros’ baseball operations department in doubt.

In his statement, Crane wrote that the Astros “are grateful for all of James’ contributions,” a major deviation from the tension that had become apparent.

Crane continued, “We’ve had great success in each of his three seasons, and James has been an important part of that success.” “I want to personally thank him and wish him and his family the best going forward.”

Click joined the Astros in early 2020, after Major League Baseball’s investigation into the team’s sign-stealing practices prompted the firing of GM Jeff Luhono and manager AJ Hinch. He was brought in just weeks after Baker, a forced marriage that nevertheless presided over three consecutive appearances in the American League Championship Series.

The Astros beat the upstarts last Saturday to win their first title since 2017 Philadelphia Phillies Six games in, however, questions loomed over Klick’s status and tensions between the two had risen. Crane’s involvement in baseball operations decisions increased and his trust in Click steadily eroded, sources said. A deal for the offensive-minded catcher was pre-agreed on click wilson contreras was nixed, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passon. Hall of Famers Jeff Bagwell and Reggie Jackson continued to be a big influence.

Crane nevertheless offered Click a contract for 2023 on Monday, the day of the Astros’ parade in Houston, but Click appeared at the general managers’ meetings in Las Vegas the following afternoon without an agreement. A news conference was scheduled for Wednesday, but Klick said he knew nothing about it. Click then stated that he and Crane were still “discussing” a new deal, expressing hope that something would come together.

Crane echoed those sentiments at a news conference that only celebrated Baker’s return nearly 24 hours later but did not go into specifics. Baker said he had a “good relationship” with Click, and added: “We’ve accomplished some good things together in a short time. Sue.”

However, the issues were motivated more by the above, for example after a title click only received a one year offer.

Those situations typically result in a longer expansion and a significant increase for the GM; This was not the case with Click. Instead, he became the first head of baseball operations not to return in pursuit of a title since Larry MacPhail resigned. new York Yankees’75 years ago General Manager. Click’s departure predictably fueled speculation that former Astros assistant GM David Stearns had quit. Milwaukee Brewers‘ Two weeks before the president of baseball operations could return to Houston. But Stearns, who is under contract through 2023 and has promised to remain in an advisory role, told, “I’m not going anywhere.”

In addition to Click’s departure, the Astros also fired assistant general manager Scott Powers, sources told Passon. Powers was a former executive with the Dodgers who was brought on by Click in January as assistant GM.

The Click, suddenly a free agent, could navigate a path similar to the one charted by Alex Anthopoulos, who stepped down as GM. toronto blue jays After hiring President Mark Shapiro, then spent two years los angeles dodgers‘ before taking over as president of baseball operations for the front office atlanta braves – The team that beat the Astros in last year’s World Series.

“We’re different,” he said of the dynamic between him and Crane, speaking to Click Tuesday. “Jim is — well, look, let me be clear. There are some things we do very differently. There are some things we’re very much lined up over, and that’s part of any relationship between a boss and an employee. is going to be true for. I find he likes to act very quickly. In some cases, I tend toward a more deliberate approach. He’s very demanding, but he also gives you the resources to do what you what he tells you to do.”

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