Monday will be a huge day for the Astros and their new man in charge. According to Richard Justice, Jim Crane, is having a one of one with current GM Ed Wade. Crane, during his introduction press conference and again in a brief media session during his first official day on the job, mentioned that he would meet with all his staff on an individual basis soon after Thanksgiving. It appears those meetings will begin Monday. Considering the winter meetings are only two weeks away, it wouldn’t shock me to see a decision on Wade’s future come that very same day, if not shortly thereafter. Popular thought has been that Crane has been working behind the scenes to line up potential candidates to replace Wade once the ownership issue was resolved. That day has come and one has to wonder if not for Thanksgiving would Wade already have been dismissed?
As far as who would replace Ed Wade, names such as Friedman, Hunsicker and Levine have popped up but no official list has even leaked yet. Much has changed since the ownership change was first announced and Crane’s mindset might have turned to other candidates since then. But Crane has shown quite of bit of admiration for the Texas Rangers and the way in which they’ve turned their franchise around. This could be a clue as to who he is considering for his front office or even on-field staff.
If a change is made, whoever takes over will hit the ground running with the Winter Meetings so close and Wandy Rodriguez expected to be a big chip on the trade block. It would make sense to move Wandy with so many clubs looking for reliable starting pitching and the ‘Stros rebuilding through the minor leagues. Given that, a move to get younger and shed Wandy’s salary might be close to a lock. The Winter Meetings seem like the ideal time to get it done and it would allow for whoever the GM might be to move other veterans during the rest of the winter.