Astros insider hints at power struggle in front office ahead of trade deadline

At the worst possible time, Houston seems to have too many people trying to take charge.
2023 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
2023 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

One of the worst things that any MLB team can have is too many people with different agendas who also have significant input in roster decisions. Big league organizations need to be well-oiled machines that move with a common purpose, so getting pulled in different directions leads to messy rosters and poor follow-through. Unfortunately, the Houston Astros reportedly seem to be right in the middle of just such a situation.

The Astros hired Dana Brown to take over their front office before the 2023 season after the very messy exit of their previous, and rather successful, GM James Click, who publicly clashed with owner Jim Crane over personnel decisions and his own contract status. Brown is an accomplished executive in his own right and many hoped his hiring would be the end of the drama.

That does not appear to be the case, though, as Astros beat writer Chandler Rome wrote recently that it remains unclear as to whom is making decisions for the Astros, with there being a classic "too many chefs in the kitchen" problem.

Astros need leadership clarity amidst front office chaos

How Crane handled the James Click situation was already a red flag. Crane has a reputation for being meddlesome. However, Houston elevating Astros great Jeff Bagwell to a senior advisor has created an unhelpful power dynamic because not only was Bagwell a driving force behind the team signing Jose Abreu, but he has continued to flex his muscles on decisions ever since.

Complicating matters, the Astros also seem to be leaning on the expertise of Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, who also is an advisor to the team. Normally, legends in these sorts of roles are sounding boards and little else, but Jackson has apparently been around the team a lot recently and is firmly in Crane's ear as well.

If everyone is on the same page, then having a diverse set of voices can be great. However, the Astros seem to be approaching a crucial trade deadline with their season hanging on by a thread with a bunch of big personalities vying for Crane's attention. This probably isn't what Brown signed on for when he agreed to take over the Astros' front office, and how he navigates it will probably determine how long he sticks around.

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