Interesting news out of Houston today as Chandler Rome of The Athletic reported that the Astros are parting ways with front office executives Bill Firkus and Sara Goodrum.
Yes, the Astros just parted ways with two front office executives right in the middle of their playoff run. The news is interesting on its own, but becomes even more intriguing when the timing is accounted for.
In Rome's piece, Dana Brown was quoted as saying the Astros "went in a different direction." Neither Firkus or Goodrum commented.
Firkus, one of the longest tenured Astros executives and one of the few remaining employees that worked under Jeff Luhnow, had just been promoted to Assistant GM in December. Sara Goodrum arrived in Houston in 2021 under James Click's regime.
Houston made an interesting choice of timing to move on from two front office executive
Though it is not uncommon for a newly hired GM to re-shape his front office, they likely are able to do so in an offseason. Brown of course didn't have that chance after being hired so late in the offseason. The timing of this move becomes even more interesting when Brown's quote from last week are considered:
"I got here and worked with these guys and found out they have a lot of good people here. There's going to be at least six promotions within the front office."- Dana Brown
As of now, its uncertain if Firkus and Goodrum's roles will be replaced internally, but it does sound like it based on Brown's quotes last week.
Interestingly, both have ties to David Stearns, who the Astros had been interested in reuniting with. Stearns and Firkus worked together under Luhnow, while Stearns hired Goodrum in Milwaukee in 2017. As Stearns now looks to build a power with the Mets, it makes logical sense that he targets both.
But why would Houston make such a move?
In addition to the odd timing in the middle of the playoffs, it does feel rather alarming that the Astros would part ways with two more analytical mindsets as they continue to move away from what has built such a successful machine.
Though Firkus was front-facing this offseason as a spokesman, it was Jim Crane that called the shots this offseason. He moved on from Click and has been vocal about a desire to be surrounded by more old school minded baseball guys, i.e. Jeff Bagwell and Reggie Jackson.
Firkus isn't exactly a household name among execs like Stearns, Alex Anthopoulos, or Andrew Friedman, he had just been promoted and had seen quite a bit under two brilliant, analytical minds in Luhnow and Click.
Goodrum, a trailblazer in her own right, was hired by not just one, but two front office execs that have experienced great success in Stearns and Click. That each thought highly enough of her to blaze such a trail speaks volumes.
As of now, no reason is given for the moves, but let's hope this isn't another step backwards from analytics for Houston.