It had seemed as though it would be inevitable that the Houston Astros would bring back their leaders next season. Well, that may not be the case.
According to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle, it is not a given that general manager James Click returns. He reports that there is speculation around the Astros organization that Click will not be back once his contract comes to an end.
Letting James Click depart would be surprising development for Houston Astros
Both Click and manager Dusty Baker joined the Astros during a period of turmoil. The franchise had lost their manager and general manager in the aftermath of AstroGate, leaving the organization in desperate need of a stabilizing hand. As the Astros not only made the playoffs during that pandemic shortened 2020 campaign, but in every year since. They clearly have not missed a step.
But there are some problems. Ken Rosenthal wrote that there is some friction between owner Jim Crane and Click, especially as Crane is becoming more active in the baseball operations front and has different ideals as to how to create the roster. Meanwhile, Click and Baker disagree on how much analytics should be used during in game situations.
It makes sense that, if Crane is going to have to pick a side, he would bring back Baker over Click. However, there is no questioning that his moves have worked out. The Astros have the first overall seed in the American League, a first round bye, and the type of roster that will compete for years to come. Click would immediately rise to the top of available candidates for any team with an open GM position.
Letting Click go could also be a mistake. The Astros are looking to contend for the foreseeable future, and he has proven that he can build a roster for both the present and future. Crane’s resources would seemingly avoid any prolonged downturn in fortunes, but the same could have been said of the Yankees in the 1980s. Having the right people in charge matters. Click is the right person, personality clashes or not.
There are rumblings that the Houston Astros may not bring James Click back after this season. If that is the case, they are making a mistake.