Astros: Crane has not asked permission for Stearns

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI/Shutterstock (12437426a) Jim Crane, chairman and chief executive of Crane Capital Group, Crane Worldwide Logistics, and owner of the Houston Astros, makes his remarks after being inducted into the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in Maryland Heights, Missouri on Thursday, September 9, 2021. Crane, Maryland Heights, Missouri, United States – 10 Sep 2021

Astros: Crane has not asked permission for Stearns

At the Houston Sports Awards show, Jim Crane gave an update on the search to replace former general manager James Click. Crane was vague in all his answers but answered all the questions thrown his way. He suggested they don’t have a timeline and emphasized that they want to get it right. This makes sense because, for the most part, they have made most of the moves and transactions this offseason sans a GM. It would be nice to have a general manager soon, but Crane is doing his due diligence to get the right person for the job and interviewing many people.

General Manager search update

Crane was also asked if the candidates for GM were all external or if some were internal candidates. His response might shock some people when he said, “both!” If you were looking at the internal options, Andrew Ball was one of Click’s assistant GMs last year. Charles Cook is the third assistant general manager with four years of experience with the Astros in Amateur Scouting Analysis. Bill Firkus has been with the Astros since 2013 and is currently the lead assistant GM of the three. I could imagine that all three would get an interview, but Firkus has been around the team for a while.

According to the Athletic, Crane has been interested in bringing David Stearns back as the GM. However, before the Astros could interview him, they would have to get permission from the Brewers. Stearns is currently in an advisory role for the Brewers after stepping down as the president of baseball operations. Ken Rosenthal noted that the Brewers owner had denied two other teams from interviewing him in the past. When asked if he had asked for permission to interview Stearns. Crane said he has not, so let’s scratch his name off the list.

Jim Crane on GM search

Crane mentioned that he is looking for a good one, so who is left?

The best GM candidate is likely Dana Brown, the Braves’ vice president of scouting. Brown has experience drafting some of the young talents who shined in 2022 for the young and rising Braves team. A recent addition to the list is James Harris, the Guardians’ assistant general manager. Also, someone who interviewed for the position when Click got the job was Bobby Evans, the former GM of the Giants.

The New York Post reported that Michael Hill was in consideration for the job. Hill was the former Marlins president of baseball operations, but he would prefer to continue working in MLB headquarters. As a result, he withdrew from consideration to keep his role as senior vice president of on-field operations.

One last name to bring up was brought up by José de Jesus Ortiz on Twitter. He mentioned that he had two reliable people tell him that the two most likely names are Brown and Brad Ausmus. Before becoming a manager nine years ago, many people thought Ausmus would become an excellent general manager. Would Crane take a chance on Ausmus to become the next GM for the Astros?

The Astros have produced some quality players from the minor league system to help lead them to the World Series win in 2022. However, for continued success, they need a talent evaluator at the helm to restock the farm system for trade ammunition and use on the 26-man roster. Brown would be the best fit for the Astros, but it doesn’t look like Crane is in a big rush.

We discussed it on this week’s Talking Stros podcast.

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