The Astros part ways with general manager James Click

HOUSTON — The World Series champion Astros are looking for a new general manager after owner Jim Crane announced Friday that James Click would not return for the 2023 season.

“We are grateful for all of James’ contributions,” Crane said in a statement. “We have had great success in each of his three seasons, and James has been a big part of that success. I want to personally thank him and wish him and his family moving forward.”

Click was not immediately available for comment, but a source told MLB.com that Click turned down a one-year deal to return to the Astros, who just six days earlier defeated the Phillies to win the World Series. Crane said he spoke briefly with Click before the team’s victory parade on Monday, and Click flew to Las Vegas to represent the team at general manager meetings, though his contract expired Oct. 31.

The Astros brought back the manager Dusty Baker on a one year deal that was announced during a press conference on Wednesday, at which point Crane said he would have more discussions about Click’s future when he returned from Las Vegas.

“But you know, James has done a good job,” Crane said Wednesday. “He stepped in and made some good moves. We’ll sit here and see where we end up with James.”

The Astros also parted ways with assistant general manager Scott Powers on Friday, a source told MLB.com. Hired in January, Powers helped oversee research and development, performance science, people operations and innovation. He was hired around the same time as assistant general manager Andrew Ball, who helps with major league roster management, player contracts, player acquisition, salary arbitration and fan scouting.

Click, who came to the Astros after 14 years with the Tampa Bay Rays, said Tuesday that uncertainty about his future in Houston hadn’t stopped him from enjoying the Astros’ World Series title.

“That was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had in my entire life,” he said. “I go there [at the GM Meetings] and a lot of people who haven’t been lucky enough to win the title have come up to me and said, ‘Is this worth it, what we all go through and how much time do we spend away from our families?’ I will tell you unequivocally, yes. He’s totally up to the task.”

Click was hired in February 2020, a few days after Baker, in the wake of the sign-stealing scandal that cost manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow their jobs. In three seasons as general manager, the Astros have won two American League pennants, including this year’s World Series.

With the Winter Meetings less than a month away, the Astros will have to work quickly to find a replacement for Click. The Astros lost two key members of the front office in the last month when assistant general manager Pete Putila was named the Giants’ general manager and international director Oz Ocampo was named the Marlins’ assistant general manager.

David Stearns, who worked with Luhnow with the Astros from 2012 to 2015, resigned as president of baseball operations in Milwaukee on Oct. 27, but remains under contract with the Brewers for 2023 and is not interested in returning to Houston.

“I’m just going to reiterate what I’ve said before: I’m not going anywhere,” Stearns told MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy on Friday. “I promise to advise Mark [Attanasio, Milwaukee’s principal owner] Y [general manager Matt Arnold] any way you can. And that’s it.”

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