Houston Astros: GM James Click talks 2020 and future
The Houston Astros face an uncertain future, and general manager James Click shed light on the team’s plans in an interview with MLB Network.
On Wednesday, Houston Astros general manager James Click joined Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds on MLB Network. Click reminisced on the 2020 season and talked about the upcoming season.
Something that stood out to Click was how Astros players kept telling him not to worry about the team’s poor regular season (29-31) and that by October, the team will be ramped up. Although Click has only been in Houston for a year now, the Astros have been known as the team to progress in a season and show out when it is most needed.
“I got to be honest, I was skeptical,” Click said. “I don’t think it is that easy to just go through the regular season and then turn it on in October.”
The Astros turned around from being below .500 in the regular season to being one win shy of a third World Series appearance in 4 years.
Reynolds asked Click about his relationship with Dusty Baker, and Click talked about how much reputation, experience and history that Baker brings to the Astros. Click has looked to Baker for any guidance and help during his time in Houston. Baker is in his final year under contract with the Astros in 2021, and he is uncertain if he will return for the future.
Justin Verlander’s status is “looking great,” Click said. The right-hander had season-ending Tommy John surgery in September; over a month after he sustained the injury. Verlander had dinner with Astros owner Jim Crane last week, and “he’s getting after it, his rehab, like a Hall of Famer.” Click thinks it is an “aggressive timetable” to see Verlander back in 2021, but he is not against bringing back the Cy Young pitcher as soon as possible.
Click came into a general manager job that is not like others in recent past. As many jobs open, teams are looking to rebuild. But in the Astros’ case, they have stars in place such as Carlos Correa, and that was appealing to Click. When talking about Correa, Click said, “you can’t say enough good things about him, just about what he does on the field but the leadership.” Correa has been an underrated player due to recent injuries, but in the light of a sign-stealing scandal in 2020, Correa became a captain and vocal leader for the team.
Click loves Correa, both on and off the field, and stated that he wants him back. But Click referred to the situation as a “two-way conversation.”