The Houston Astros have fired assistant general manager Scott Powers, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN. This comes on the heels of the firing of general manager James Click from earlier today. As noted by Passan, Click hired Powers away from the Dodgers back in January.
The Astros parting ways with Click was the first domino to fall in a surprising sequence of events following the Astros winning the 2022 World Series. Despite reports of friction between Click and owner Jim Crane, it had been speculated by many that a World Series victory would nonetheless be enough to overcome those tensions and keep the gravy train rolling. Instead, it seems that the hurdles have been too high to mount, despite the Astros emerging triumphant in 2022. After Click was removed from the picture, it had been hypothesized that some of his hires would also be let go, and that has indeed come to pass with Powers getting sent out the door behind Click.
Powers was the Dodgers director of quantitative analysis up until he was hired by the Astros in January of 2022. Also hired as an AGM at that time was Andrew Ball, who had worked with Click in the Rays’ system. No word has been released about his status but it’s fair to wonder at this point if Crane is determined at this point to dismiss anyone he deems to be a Click guy. It’s worth reiterating that Click was hired after the Astros’ sign-stealing efforts in 2017 came to light after the 2019 season. President of baseball operations Jeff Luhnow was fired and Click hired shortly thereafter. Although the team has continued performing well, it seems that things haven’t been as rosy behind the scenes. Despite the firings, Click and Powers and anyone else who ends up leaving will surely get plenty of interest from other teams around the league based on their track record of results on the field.
The Astros are now facing a large amount of front office turnover. In addition to Click and Powers, and whatever other moves may or may not be coming, a few executives have already departed for jobs with other organizations. A month ago, the Giants hired Pete Putila, another Houston AGM, to be their general manager. Oz Ocampo, a long-time scout and executive with the Astros, was recently hired to be an AGM with the Marlins.
This puts the Astros in a strange and perhaps unprecedented position. On the one hand, they are reigning world champions, having just hoisted the trophy less than a week ago. That’s just the latest success marker in a long run of results, as they have qualified for the ALCS in each of the last six seasons. On the other hand, they will have to quickly scramble to fill out a front office that is hemorrhaging members while making plans for their title defense in 2023.
Many have wondered if David Stearns could be a candidate due to a couple of factors. He recently stepped down from his role as the Brewers’ president of baseball operations and into a more advisory position, and also was an AGM with the Astros before going to Milwaukee. However, he is still under contract for one more year and has said he’s not going anywhere, reiterating that position today to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. “I’m just going to reiterate what I said previously: I’m not going anywhere,” Stearns said “I’m committed to advising Mark [Attanasio, Milwaukee’s principal owner] and [general manager Matt Arnold] in any way I can. And that’s that.”