In a never-before-seen occurrence, James Click is out as GM of the Houston Astros, only days after hoisting the Commissioner’s trophy as a world champion
Veracity Sports has learned from a source close to the situation which has requested to remain anonymous because they do not have the authorization to disclose team business publicly, that, after a contentious final year of the 3-year deal Click signed to become GM of the Astros prior to the 2020 season, the two sides were unable to come to terms on a mutually suitable extension.
What we’ve learned is that team Owner and Chairman Jim Crane and Click negotiated fiercely throughout the 2022 season, but that the two sides were unable to come to terms on a long-term agreement. That impasse ultimately led Crane to proffer what amounted to a 1-year, largely lame-duck type of contract, to Click, which would have greatly diminished the authority and autonomy most GMs around the league enjoy – a deal that Click declined, effectively terminating his contract with the Astros on Halloween night, even before the team’s World Series fate was decided.
For now, it’s unclear where Click will end up, or if he will even sign on with another MLB club for the 2023 season. However, it would be hard to imagine that some club won’t scoop up a battle-tested GM who returned a troubled and controversial club to respectability within a three-year window.
As for the Astros, they have announced no timetable for the team to either hire another GM or to promote one from the team’s internal ranks. However, we have learned that two team executives have recently been given the title of Assistant GM.
According to our source, Bill Firkus, one of those new Assistant GMs, will now be responsible for free-agent player contract negotiations. This is further evidenced by his recently signed free agent relief pitcher Raphael Montero to a 3-year, 34.5-million-dollar deal to keep the reliever in Houston, even after Click vacated his office.
The other newly appointed Astros assistant GM is Charles Cook. Our source tells us that Cook will be responsible for scouting and talent-related evaluations. Cook’s previous responsibilities with the team were evaluating international talent scouting. Under this new organizational alignment, that role is expected to expand to both American and international talent evaluation.
To complicate this new hierarchy even further, Houston already had an assistant GM who worked under Click, Andrew Ball, and we have learned that Ball will also stay put.
That’s right, as it is being explained to us, Ball will round out the Astros' new 3-headed GM monster and he will be responsible for handling all of the team’s arbitration issues until further notice.
Will the Astros attempt to use this model going into the 2023 season, or is the hunt on for a new, more traditional GM? As it stands now, there’s just no way to know.
It’s also been suggested that the move to remove Click and install the 3-headed GM monster which the team is now using, might be a poorly veiled ploy by team owner and chairman Bill Crane to take a Jerry Jones/Daniel Snyder/George Steinbrenner-type leadership role within that organization.
Whether that turns out to be the case, and Crane either has no intention of naming a new GM or will only consider naming one that will run all personnel decisions through Crane himself, remains to be seen. Either way, it will be very interesting to see what strategy the Astros, as an organization, employ to try and improve on what Click did for the team between 2020 and their latest championship in 2022.
More information on this and all our stories are available on our network website veracityreport.org.
This article was compiled and written by Chief Sports Correspondent, Kurt Dillon – Because the Truth Matters!
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