This story was excerpted from Brian McTaggart’s Astros Beat newsletter. To checked out the complete newsletter, click on this link. And subscribe to get it frequently in your inbox.
The lack of a basic supervisor hasn’t stopped the Astros from being active in the free-agent market up until now this offseason. The club re-signed reducer pitcher Rafael Montero to a three-year agreement Nov. 15, and on Tuesday Houston signed slugger José Abreu to a three-year offer, a signal the protecting World Series champs are going for a repeat.
While he looks for a brand-new GM, Astros owner Jim Crane has actually taken a more active function in the front workplace, working in addition to assistant GMs Andrew Ball, Bill Firkus and Charles Cook — the latter 2 having actually been promoted after the World Series. Crane has actually likewise leaned greatly on Hall of Fame slugger Jeff Bagwell, a relied on consultant who has Crane’s ear.
In truth, Crane sent out Bagwell, Firkus and bench coach Joe Espada to Miami to assist seal the deal with Abreu.
“The visit was great,” Bagwell stated. “It was good for us to let him know how much he would mean to us if we could sign him. Most importantly, we found out more about the person he was, what drives him. You look at the numbers, the games played, RBIs, what he does, the person he is and his desire to win and what he could mean to our clubhouse, as well as what he does on the field, that made me very comfortable for pursuing him.”
Crane stated Tuesday he’s putting together prospects to end up being the group’s brand-new GM, however he doesn’t anticipate the function to be filled prior to January. The group parted methods with GM James Click a week after the World Series. Crane stated he’s happy with the method the front workplace has actually operated sans a GM in the meantime.
“The front office is working fine, as you can see,” he stated. “Our guys are experienced. We promoted two guys — Firkus to assistant GM and Charles Cook to assistant GM. Both have ample years of experience here knowing how everything works. We’re full speed ahead.”
Bagwell, who set the group’s all-time crowning achievement record of 449 throughout his 15-year profession in Houston (1991-2005), has actually had a growing existence around the Astros in the last couple of years. He’s a regular factor to the group’s radio and tv broadcasts throughout the season, and he can typically be spotted sitting beside Crane in his box at Minute Maid Park throughout video games.
Bagwell stated he’s a sounding board for Crane and supplies the viewpoint of a previous gamer.
“So much of this game is made up of numbers and things like that, so there’s so many things numbers can’t tell you — the type of person, what he means to our clubhouse, how he goes about his business,” Bagwell stated. “Those are the intangible things I can see when I talk to somebody, more than just numbers.”
Asked candidly if he wished to be the next GM of the Astros, Bagwell smiled and stated: “I’m good where I’m at right now.”