The Houston Astros have a general manager vacancy. Now they just need to find somebody willing to fill it.
Remember just a little while ago, when the Baltimore Orioles were trying to hire a new general manager to replace Andy MacPhail? The whole circus was embarrassing. The Orioles put together a fine list of candidates, fine indeed, but one candidate after another withdrew himself from the running, and the Orioles ended up hiring a guy who hadn't worked in baseball since 2002. It all might have looked worse than it actually was, I don't know, but it didn't do anything to repair the Orioles' shattered reputation.
This is still the same offseason, and now the Houston Astros are having a similar problem filling their own vacancy. Just sold to Jim Crane, the Astros fired GM Ed Wade earlier this week. It should be easy for them to find a new GM, since said GM could basically start from scratch, right? Wrong. Via Jon Heyman:
in addition to thad levine of texas, rick hahn of the white sox and kim ng of mlb turned down interview opps for astros gm
hearing astros have pile of rejections from their gm targets. the issues? timing (bad) and talent (none)
Again, the Astros put together a fine list, but already some of those candidates are backing off. The timing to which Heyman alludes is that the Winter Meetings get started next week, and this isn't really a great time to jump from one job to a completely different job. As for the talent thing, yeah, that too. Maybe the Houston Astros would be more desirable if they were the Tampa Bay Rays. They are not. They are the Houston Astros.
Not all hope is lost. The Astros have been given permission to interview Rays GM Andrew Friedman, who is a native of Houston. Friedman probably won't bolt, because he has it pretty nice, but the Astros could always throw a ton of money at him, or promise him virtually unlimited power, or both. And beyond Friedman, there are other candidates who have yet to say no. I'm guessing. I hope. I hope Friedman isn't the only name remaining on their list.
The issue with the Orioles - I think - is that people didn't want to work for Peter Angelos and some of the suits he has installed in the organization. The Astros don't have that issue. In that respect, the Astros are less repellent than the Orioles are. But the Astros are still in bad shape, and given the timing of all this, they're up against it. One wonders if they might just lean on an interim and re-visit next November.
Probably not. But I don't know where this ends up. It's good news for the Astros that they've rid themselves of Ed Wade, but the timing of such riddance could have been better.