The Astros made a smart move bringing in James Click as the new GM.
The announcement came a little more quickly than we thought it would, but clearly Astros owner Jim Crane found his man. Former Rays VP of Baseball Operations James Click will be running the show in Houston, and from all appearances, Crane made a good hire.
At 42, Click is young enough to stay in this job for a long time if he’s successful. He’s smart, having graduated from Yale University, and he comes from one of the best and most influential baseball operations departments in the game.
We’ve seen Tampa Bay’s front office poached before, from Andrew Friedman heading to the Dodgers to most recently Chaim Bloom shipping up to Boston. Both are considered among the best in the business, and there’s no reason to think Click can’t join them in that echelon.
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Admittedly, we don’t have as much information on which to judge Click as we do for someone with more of a history. He hasn’t been a GM before, so we don’t have a list of signings and trades to grade. We also don’t have a firm grasp on how he’ll operate on those fronts, how aggressive he’ll be, or what his overall plan is for the next few years.
But here’s what we do know. He has experience in all facets of baseball operations, meaning even though this is his first GM gig, it’s not as though he won’t be able to step up and take control on day one.
He comes from a great organization that has been remarkably successful despite a severely limited budget. The Rays have long been known for having great pitching, which is perfect considering the Astros pitching staff is loaded with uncertainty over the next couple of years.
The Astros, of course, don’t have the same payroll constraints the Rays do, so Click will probably enjoy having more freedom in that regard. He’s made it clear that he has championship-level goals, which is unsurprising given the strength of the club’s roster.
It will take some time to fully evaluate him, of course, as we’ve yet to see what kind of roster moves he’ll make or how he’ll run and structure the baseball operations department. But it’s hard to dispute that Crane picked a well-qualified candidate who will hopefully be in a position to ensure the club’s success both now and in the future.