HOUSTON – Astros general manager James Click will not be given a new contract, a highly unusual move that the team announced Friday — just six days after Houston won the World Series.
Click was hired from the Tampa Bay Rays before the 2020 season and appeared increasingly distant from owner Jim Crane. The 44-year-old Click did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It's believed to be the first change in general manager following a World Series title since 1947, when the Yankees’ Larry MacPhail was replaced by George Weiss.
Click said Tuesday at the general managers meetings in Las Vegas that his contract expired Oct. 31 and the situation had not been addressed. He also said that he was given little advance notice of Wednesday's news conference, where the Astros announced that manager Dusty Baker was coming back on a one-year contract.
Click wouldn’t respond Tuesday when asked by reporters whether he had been offered a one-year contract. And he answered indirectly when asked whether autonomy over baseball operations was an issue.
“All of us always want to have areas of responsibility in areas that we can call our own, in areas that we can take pride in,” he said. “Inevitably in any of these jobs, these decisions are multimillion-dollar decisions, and ownership is going to be involved. It’s just a question of degree.”
Crane was asked about Click's status multiple times Wednesday and said the two were in discussions. Crane also was asked how he would evaluate the job Click had done since taking over after Jeff Luhnow was fired in the wake of the team's sign-stealing scandal.
“We’re going over that," Crane said. "But I think James has done a good job. He stepped in and made some good moves. We’ll sit down and see where we’re going to end up with James.”
After that, Crane was asked whether he thought the organization was better off now with Click at the helm: “I’ve run a lot of businesses. This one is no different. I’m never satisfied. If I was satisfied maybe we wouldn’t be where we are. But I press everybody to get better from top to bottom ... so I’m always looking to improve and I can improve, the people on my team can improve and the players can improve. So the standard is there for everyone.”
Click spent 14 years with the Rays, starting as a coordinator of baseball operations before becoming the team's director of baseball research and development and director of baseball operations. He spent three seasons as vice president of baseball operations before Houston hired him.
AP Baseball Writer Ron Blum contributed to this report.
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