The Astros have spoken to Guardians assistant general manager James Harris about their vacant GM position, reports Jon Heyman of the New York Post (Twitter link). Heyman calls Harris, Braves VP of scouting Dana Brown and former Giants GM Bobby Evans as three of the finalists for the post. It’s not clear how many names are still in the running, though former Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill has withdrawn his name from consideration.
Harris has been with Cleveland since 2016, when he was hired away from the Pirates organization to serve as the team’s director of player development. Prior to that, he’d spent a season as a special assistant to baseball operations with the Pirates and several prior years working with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and the University of Oregon’s football program. Over the past several seasons, he’s risen from director level to vice president to assistant GM in Cleveland. The 2022 season was his first following that promotion to assistant general manager.
Houston has been in the market for a new general manager since owner Jim Crane surprisingly made the decision to move on from now-former GM James Click following a World Series win. Reported friction between Crane and Click began to mount late in the season, and Click rejected what was widely regarded as a token one-year extension offer, prompting the formal split between the two parties. Assistant GM Scott Powers, who’d been hired by Click in Jan. 2022, was fired not long after Click’s departure.
Since that time, Crane has taken a sizable role in baseball operations, receiving input from remaining assistant GMs Andrew Ball, Bill Firkus and Charles Cook, in addition to special assistant Jeff Bagwell. There’s seemingly been no urgency to make a new hire to the GM’s chair — the vast majority of the team’s offseason dealings have already been completed — and the team hasn’t commented publicly on when a new hire might be made. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported over the weekend that the aforementioned Brown is the current favorite for the job, but there are clearly still multiple candidates in the running.