The Astros have hired Braves vice president of scouting Dana Brown as their new general manager, the team announced Thursday. He’ll replace James Click, who held the position from 2020-22 but departed after the season.
“We are excited to have Dana join our organization,” Astros owner Jim Crane said in today’s press release. “He brings championship caliber experience to our team and is the right fit for us to continue to deliver a winning franchise on and off the field. We welcome Dana and his family to the Astros family.”
Brown has been the Braves’ vice president of scouting for the past four seasons, overseeing drafts that netted the Braves talent such as Spencer Strider, Michael Harris, Vaughn Grissom, Shea Langeliers and Bryce Elder. Prior to being hired by Atlanta in 2019, he was a special assistant in the Blue Jays’ front office for nine years — overlapping with current Braves president of baseball operations (and former Toronto GM) Alex Anthopoulos for a substantial portion of that tenure. Brown spent the nine preceding seasons as the director of scouting for the Expos/Nationals and was an area supervisor and crosschecker in the Pirates’ scouting department for eight years in the 90s.
Even six months ago, the notion of the Astros needing to hire a new general manager would’ve registered as a surprise. There were reports of growing friction between Crane and Click late in the 2022 season, but winning tends to cure all, and the Astros not only made a deep postseason run but took home their second World Series title in the past six seasons — Click’s first in just his third year on the job.
However, while 73-year-old skipper Dusty Baker was content to take a one-year extension despite having just secured a championship, Click understandably sought a multi-year offer with his original three-year contract drawing to a close. Crane put forth what was widely viewed as a token one-year extension offer — Click’s World Series counterpart Dave Dombrowski, for comparison, was extended through 2027 by the Phillies — which was swiftly rejected by Click. The Astros announced Click’s departure two days later and, on the same day, fired assistant GM Scott Powers, whom Click had hired away from the Dodgers back in Jan. 2022.
The Astros have operated without a general manager throughout the offseason. Crane has personally taken a large role in baseball operations, negotiating Rafael Montero’s three-year, $34.5MM deal to return to the club and Jose Abreu’s three-year, $58.5MM contract. Assistant GMs Bill Firkus, Andrew Ball and Charles Cook have all retained roles near the top of the hierarchy, and former Astros star and current front office advisor Jeff Bagwell has also reportedly influenced the team’s baseball operations decisions.
Brown will now step to the top of the Astros’ baseball operations department, ostensibly with full autonomy over the team’s roster decisions moving forward. Reports have indicated that Crane was more involved than most owners even prior to Click’s departure — he nixed a deadline trade that would’ve sent Jose Urquidy to the Cubs for Willson Contreras — and only time will tell whether he has a more hands-off approach with his newly minted general manager.
Brown’s appointment as general manager marks at least something of a philosophical shift from recent regimes. Former president of baseball operations Jeff Luhnow, who was fired in the wake of the 2017 trashcan scandal, was among the foremost voices in bringing about the analytical revolution in modern baseball front offices. Click, meanwhile, came from a similarly data-driven Rays organization, where he’d served as vice president of baseball operations and, per the Rays (at the time of his hiring in Houston) had “a focus on baseball research and development” and “baseball systems,” among other responsibilities.
That’s not to say that neither Luhnow nor Click had any scouting acumen themselves, just as it’s not to say that Brown is unfamiliar with many of the data-oriented principles that guide modern front offices (to varying extents). Nonetheless, Brown’s background is rooted in more traditional types of player evaluation; the Astros, under Luhnow, moved away from in-person scouting to put a greater focus on video scouting. That had already begun to change under Click, who worked hard over his final year to replenish some of the scouting resources lost under the prior regime’s shift.
Just as we can’t yet know whether Crane’s more hands-on approach will change with Brown in the GM’s chair, it’s impossible to state whether the Astros will pivot to a more scouting-heavy focus — or at least a more balanced blend between data-based and scouting-based evaluations. Brown and Crane will surely speak on the matter in the near future; the Astros have called a 2:30pm press conference to formally introduce their new general manager.
Mark Berman of FOX 26 first reported that Brown would be Houston’s new GM (Twitter link).
Photo courtesy of the Houston Astros.
Well good for Dana
How many years and how much money for the new GM?
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Did they say Staina Brown?
That could leave a mark…
Fits in the history…
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
As T Rex once sang, Bang a Gong
(win a world series)
Bang a Gong
The stain remains and it apparently is Brown.
You need some new material
Big loss for ATL
Love it for the Stros. Been within a great organization that knows talent and how to keep it around. Home run, in my opinion!
It’s a 6 month contract with 3 month team options for the next 5 years
You sir, have made a very funny joke.
deGrom Texas Ranger
Is this a Carlos Correa allusion? He had player options in his first Twins deal.
Great for Astros bad for Braves.
The Braves have a deep bench. They’ll be fine. It’s like the Rays. There’s another exec coming up behind them.
steven st croix
The train keeps on rolling
Mr. Click came from an organization that turns over players as soon as they show weakness and can’t quickly be fixed.
Mr. Brown comes from an organization that has patience with players and will stick with them and work with them if they believe
in the player.
Not to mention the Rays tend to deal guys that get expensive in arbitration. Click was an excellent executive. But he did not build this organization and he did not hire dusty. Click wanted full power and that wasn’t going to happen here.
The Rays are more micro-managers; the Astros are more people that make suggestions and leave it to people in their jobs to buy in or not.
My career was in computer work. What users did with analytical results is their job. It wasn’t mine to tell them how to run their departments.
I loved hearing about Austin Voth that took some data from the Orioles coaching staff when they acquired him from the Nationals. One of the pitching coaches found a few minor things he had done in the past regarding his pitching usage and sequencing that seemed to be working. Voth got away from it. The pitching coach suggested he consider that and a few other small things. It was up to Voth. He implemented their suggestions over 3-4 starts and pitched better than he ever had in his 4 years with the Nationals. Of course the O’s FO came from Houston.
The Astros give Dusty Baker a lot of data. How he uses it and whether or not he shares it with his coaches is his call. This speaks well of the Astros (empowering personnel with direction and information without telling them what to do), and I too believe that was at the core of the problem that Mr. Click had not just with Mr. Crane but with many others in the Astros Baseball Ops.
Stros have had plenty of players they have worked with to get better. Guys like Collin McHugh and Will Harris in the past and recently Rafael Montero and Ryne Stanek. Many more pitchers but they’ve really hit on all their hitters with exception of JD Martinez who they gave up on too early.
He’s a stud
Judging by previous job title alone, this looks like a good hire.
deGrom Texas Ranger
He must have high expectations to live up to. Even winning a world series wasn’t enough for the last one. I wish him the best of luck.
Click’s departure had nothing to do with winning. Jim Crane fell on the axe but Click lost his job because he wanted full power and couldn’t force dusty into lineup decisions. Click’s analytics while awesome aren’t always correct and Dusty, whom was hired by the owner, had no obligation to oblige to a 40 year old ivy leaguers demands. Dusty is old school and is not going to change for anyone. Click did not have Crane’s full support and it created friction between the 3 of them. The silly media keeps wrongfully reporting this as a Click/Crane thing when it was really a Dusty/Click thing.
If the silly media keeps reporting it wrong…where did you get the information?
Because the media despises the organization and ive learned from my 40 years on earth how despicable the American media is. Any Astros fan can tell u the lineup card was a huge battle between the manager and front office everyday. Click wanted Pena in the 7 hole. Dusty put him in the 2 hole. Its a lot easier to learn from local tv and internet/ social media outlets than news coming from new york. Quit getting your news from cnn riffraff
DUH! Got from the non-silly media that keeps reporting it right.
The local media is the ones reporting that. The national media is reporting the incorrect stuff. The local media is usually more in tune with the the everyday happenings within an organization. That goes for all 30 teams.
So, let me see if I have this correct, social media = accurate reporting and local TV outlet isn’t “the silly media”. sounds like you are listening to sports radio callers or just choosing to believe whichever narrative goes along with yours. Also..pretty sure CNN doesn’t cover baseball to the extent of GM/Manager feuds. BTW.. I am not one of the dozen CNN viewers
I don’t have a narrative. I go by what my ears and eyes tell me. And if I tried to learn about the Astros from the National media which you seem to cherish i would learn that the Astros are a cheating lawless group of subhuman players. The owner is a terrible person. Their fans are evil and enablers. I wouldn’t learn anything substantial or true. Hence why local media and people who talk on social media and radio. It’s imperfect i admit but its the only reliable source of information today. We are a first to report society now. Getting information correct is irrelevant
I’m not quite sure where you are getting the idea I cherish the national media.. I was curious to know where you got your info on Click/Baker not getting along since you seem intent on not beleiving the silly media ( BTW your initial post left out the term “mainstream” which kinda changes the tone of the whole post). Basically I was asking for your non silly media source…you could be 100% correct.. but the response I got was real fans know and don’t believe national media ( again not what you wrote first time) and some sad attempt at slurring me as a CNN viewer. Fine – you’re right I don’t need proof I will just go by whatever you say no need to back it up with a link or anything. Thanks for the new info..have a drink and relax you’re taking this way way too seriously.
I agree with your analysis. Based on what we know and can see, it adds up.
It’s a rare instance where the owner picked the manager over the general manager.
@Astros2017 CNN doesn’t even have their own Sports reporting department, so nobody is getting their Astros news from CNN. Would love some links to your sources regarding Click/Dusty, that would be interesting reading.
Years ago, when CNN first started, they did have a sports department and it was anchored by two of the best, IMO, Fred Hickman and Nick Charles, may they both rest in peace.
Now they’re all about left leaning political BS. Sad. Very sad indeed.
deGrom Texas Ranger
What’s wrong with being young and smart instead of being stubborn and old-fashioned? There is value to all kinds of input, and many guys the Rangers have had, like Ron Washington and Chris Woodward overplayed their struggling veterans and hardly played overperfoeming rookies. You shouldn’t obsess over shifts and other analytics, but you also can’t be the wins/RBIs/batting average type and expect success either. Being a Yale graduate is not the insult you seem to think it is.
No where in my statement did i say anything negative about ivy League executives. I said Dusty is not going to have a guy 30 years younger than him tell him how to do things because his computers tell him this is what I should do. The Astros were built into a juggernaut because of Luhnow and analytics. I appreciate them greatly. Im also smart enough to know that old school approach and feel is just as useful. All should be applied. I rather liked Click but he clearly thought he was better than he was being given credit for and i believe he made a huge mistake. Thats my opinion. Take it however u like
The Athletic ran a story about the friction between Click and Baker. Local reporters close to the team also discussed it frequently.
The fact that Crane nixed Click’s trade for Contreras after talking to Baker (widely reported) speaks volumes to the fractured nature of Click’s relationship with Crane and Baker). Baker’s spoke about why he thought the trade Click made was not good for the team.
That’s what I’ve been wondering. It has looked to me like a power grab by Crane, but I didn’t really have anything to go off of. And Click wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate, but might just have been the best available given the circumstances of the Lunhow departure.
Click was hired very quickly. Crane didn’t have the luxury of a long search to find the right guy at the time. I think Click did a great job but the friction in the organization between him and Dusty became a real issue and they just didn’t, pardon the pun, click. Crane took his time this time around. Here’s hoping this guy is a great fit. His track record is impressive.
Considering he goes way back to working for the Expos, there’s no doubt he has a lot of experience. But most of jobs seem to be in scouting. I just wonder if he can handle the other aspects of being a GM.
1. Crane and the Assistant GMs have plenty of experience doing this.
2. The Astros need to continue to find diamond in the rough studs.
He’s a great scout and talent. Reminds me of the Luhnow hire 10 years ago. Org with recent WS and a great farm system. hopefully no hacking this time around.
Codeeg- How would you know that?
This feels like a HR for the Astros
He checked off all the box’s
The most important being he gets a 50% discount on Trash Cans at Home Depot.
Important thing is you tried.
Well done, jjd….I was thinking since there isn’t a period in his first line are we supposed to guess “all the box’s” what? He left us hanging at what on the box are we checking off.
There is no Dana, only Zuul.
Doe. Ray. Egon
@8791: Why isn’t everyone here “liking” your sneaky Ghostbusters reference?
When there’s something strange…
So happy for Dana. I just saw him this past weekend at a retirement party. Chatted a bit about the Braves and the good old days when he played at Seton Hall. He is a 100% baseball.
congrats! another female GM, you love to see inclusivity in full effect
^ Troll or moron? Someone else decide, I can’t.
Oh, definitely moron.
I read Dan brown, and read a couple of sentences before realizing. Congrats Dana!
Good for him. Next man or woman up in the Braves scouting department. Gotta keep churning out players that contribute in the A.
Sid Bream Speed Demon
Congrats to Dana, potentially a big loss for the Braves, but nice move for Houston.
Crane likely makes most big decisions and Brown makes draft decisions, international signings and input on prospects who should get MLB playing time and full-time consideration. Great addition.
At least now we don’t see all the writers with their articles about their idiotic guesses who’s the next Stros’ GM.
Oh darn, more talent evaluation and player development for the Astros.
First task, sign Yuli Gurriel.
Offer Yuli a non roster invite. He will be an Astros HOFer, but he’s not worth a guaranteed contract.
Yuli was a great player for Houston and will go down as an all time fan fav, but it is time to turn the page.
Still living rent free I see. Come enjoy the trophies and banners hanging in left if you ever visit the city.
Good organization to pry an executive from. Good choice by Crane, dodged a bullet with Ausmus as a possible candidate.
Contract included a deluxe set of garbage cans
Its pretty obvious why Dana got hired. Hes the owner’s yes-man. Also it helps that Dana is black because he can be more tough with Dusty compared to other GMs that would have to take a more sensitive approach. I don’t really care about that stuff but I’m just stating the obvious. I’d compare it to when Brodie V fired Calloway and hired Luis Rojas to be his yes-man. Cardinals fired Shilt and hired a yes-man as well
Black managers do not require a more sensitive approach. If that were true Dusty would not have been fired seven times.
Who cares what the cheaters are doing??
Astros Hot Takes
“Who cares what the cheaters are doing??”
29 other teams care, and attempt to emulate Astro’s baseball genius, in order to, hopefully, emulate their baseball success.
Glad Crane chose Baker over Click. Why can’t GM’s just let the manager do his job without putting in their 2cents every game?
Real fans who let that thing go a few years ago, that’s who.
Still living rent free I see. Come to Houston sometime and enjoy the banners in left and the hardware in the case. We will let you stare at it for a while.
Judging by your interest, YOU
That’s a great choice, because you know Atlanta won’t keep anyone, so having the inside baseball on them is a great idea. When those guys start leaving Atlanta it’ll be time for the Astros to restock.
Yeah, the Braves are infamous for letting their young talent walk and having excessive turnover in the coaching staff.
Is he already well versed in cheating or will he have to learn on the job?
Well since he was in baseball in 2017/2018 he has already been on a team that was doing the same stuff the Astros did in 2017.
We will get him trained up really quick and the trash can tones. Can’t wait to hang some more banners and add to the hardware. Absolutely love living rent free in your head!!!
I haven’t watched baseball in years.
I just think it’s sad when people have such empty lives they have to pretend that cheating is the same as winning.
And it’s even more pathetic when they brag about it.
They are the George Santos’s of sports fans. Just living a lie that everyone sees through.
Imagine thinking Houston was the only one doing it…
“I’m NOT a murderer because everyone else here killed someone, too! Not just me!”
So let me ask you – was Houston the only team doing it?
If you shoot the sheriff but someone else shoots the deputy, how many of you are murderers?
@66TheNumberOfTheBest *YAWN* Another weirdo who wants to compare cheating in a GAME to murder. Neither is right, but come on there is a huge difference. Also, if you “stopped watching baseball years ago” why do you care about a cheating scandal that happened OVER FIVE YEARS AGO. Pretty fishy, bub. The only people still complaining about the cheating at this point are those fueled by jealousy, which apparently you are one of. Keep being jealous that whatever team you root for isn’t as successful which is why you “stopped watching baseball” *rolls eyes*.
No one is jealous of your stolen flag, Ostrich.
The team I root for has won 5 Stanley Cups during my fandom. Without cheating.
So, my motives are simple….I, like all decent people, abhor cheaters.
Losers with nothing else to brag about have to defend cheaters and pretend they are winners and it’s honestly sad and pathetic.
Wait, Santos said that everyone embellishes their resume some. So to follow your analogy a little further, so is it okay or not to use foreign substances on the ball of you don’t get caught? Michael Pineda wasn’t caught red handed, everyone does it right?
For the love of all that is holy, why does Steve constantly interrupt himself when he’s writing?
“Click’s World Series counterpart Dave Dombrowski, for comparison, was extended through 2027 by the Phillies.”
“for comparison, Click’s World Series counterpart Dave Dombrowski was extended through 2027 by the Phillies.”
“….the Astros, under Luhnow, moved away from in-person scouting to put a greater focus on video scouting.”
…. under Luhnow, the Astros moved away from in-person scouting to put a greater focus on video scouting.
Come on. Make it flow better.
Then he doesn’t put the commas in the right place or doesn’t know when to use who and whom:
“The Astros announced Click’s departure two days later and, on the same day, fired assistant GM Scott Powers, whom Click had hired away from the Dodgers back in Jan. 2022.”
That’s just wrong. This is right:
“The Astros announced Click’s departure two days later, and on the same day, fired assistant GM Scott Powers, who Click had hired away from the Dodgers back in Jan. 2022.”
Finally, this monstrosity of a sentence:
“Click, meanwhile, came from a similarly data-driven Rays organization, where he’d served as vice president of baseball operations and, per the Rays (at the time of his hiring in Houston) had ‘a focus on baseball research and development’ and ‘baseball systems,’ among other responsibilities.'”
Start the sentence with meanwhile, don’t interrupt this already convoluted structure with it. Then learn where the commas ACTUALLY go or just split the dang thing:
“Meanwhile, Click came from a similarly data-driven Rays organization, where he’d served as vice president of baseball operations and per the Rays (at the time of his hiring in Houston), had ‘a focus on baseball research and development’ and ‘baseball systems,’ among other responsibilities.'”