Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell criticizes Astros’ recent tilt toward analytics but says he doesn’t want GM job

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The Houston Astros remain in need of a general manager after surprisingly cutting ties with incumbent James Click earlier this offseason. So enter Jeff Bagwell?

The franchise legend and Hall of Fame first baseman has been a close advisor to club owner Jim Crane for some time, and the idea that he might be in for a larger and more formal front-office role gained credence when Bagwell reportedly helped negotiate José Abreu’s recent free-agent contract with Houston. On Tuesday, Bagwell leveled what seems to be thinly veiled criticism at Click and his data-driven approach: 

At the same time, though, Bagwell also batted down speculation that he’s a serious candidate for the Astros’ GM job: 

While less stunning reversals have happened and will happen again, Bagwell seems fairly emphatic about not wanting to fill that particularly vacancy. As such, it remains uncertain what approach Crane will take in finding a new GM, but resolution should be expected at some point this winter. 

That the Astros are in such a position remains a surprise. Under Click, the Astros made the ALCS three times, claimed the pennant twice, and of course won the World Series this past season. Click was largely operating with a core that was already in place after stepping in to replace Jeff Luhnow, but there’s little questioning that he complemented that core quite well with his decision-making. As well, that Click would be analytically inclined could not be regarded as some kind of shock given that he came the Astros from the Tampa Bay Rays, who have served as a reliable incubator for that kind of front office prototype in recent years. 

Whatever the specifics of Crane’s dissatisfaction with Click and the path ahead, Bagwell for now would seem not to be a leading candidate, or at least a willing one. 

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