Three weeks after being corrected by MLB for the sign-stealing scandal, the Houston Astros have a new head baseball operations executive. Monday evening the Astros informed James Click, formerly the Rays vice president of baseball operations, has been named their new general manager.
“James has had an impressive career,” owner Jim Crane said in a statement. “He is a respected leader who has progressed in this game across all aspects of Baseball Operations and he has built great relationships with both front office and clubhouse personnel. I am thrilled to introduce him as our new General Manager – he is a great addition to the Astros.”
“I am excited to join the Astros family,” Click added. “The Astros are a progressive and innovative organization with a deeply talented group in the front office. I am grateful to Jim Crane and the Astros for giving me this opportunity to help lead this team to more championships.”
Click replaces Jeff Luhnow, who was suspended and later released as a result of the sign-stealing scandal.
Luhnow had been the club’s general manager since Dec. 2011. He oversaw their extreme rebuild from 2012-14 and their return to prominence from 2015-19, though we know now their 2017 World Series title is impure.
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The 42-year-old Click has spent the last 14 seasons with the Rays, including the last three as a high-ranking member of the baseball operations staff.
The Rays lost Chaim Bloom to the Red Sox earlier this offseason, and now Click leaves for the Astros. That’s two significant front office losses for Tampa in a short period of time.
The Astros named Dusty Baker their new manager last week. Baker replaces A.J. Hinch, who was also suspended and fired for his role in the sign-stealing scandal.
It’s unclear whether Click will make any changes to the front office staff or bring in new people. Prior to joining the Rays, Click was a writer as Baseball Prospectus. Under Crane, the Astros have signed several prominent baseball writers and analysts to contribute to their baseball operations department.