Click out as Astros GM 6 days after winning World Series

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON – Astros general manager James Click will not be given a new contract, a highly unusual move that the team announced Friday – just six days after Houston won the World Series.

Click was hired from the Tampa Bay Rays before the 2020 season and appeared increasingly distant from owner Jim Crane. The 44-year-old Click did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Click said Tuesday at the general managers meetings in Las Vegas that his contract expired Oct. 31 and the situation had not been addressed. He also said that he was given little advance notice of Wednesday’s news conference, where the Astros announced that manager Dusty Baker was coming back on a one-year contract.

Crane was asked about Click’s status multiple times Wednesday and said the two were in discussions. Crane also was asked how he would evaluate the job Click had done since taking over after Jeff Luhnow was fired in the wake of the team’s sign-stealing scandal.

“We’re going over that,” Crane said. “But I think James has done a good job. He stepped in and made some good moves. We’ll sit down and see where we’re going to end up with James.”

After that, Crane was asked if he thought the organization was better off now with Click at the helm: “I’ve run a lot of businesses. This one is no different. I’m never satisfied. If I was satisfied maybe we wouldn’t be where we are. But I press everybody to get better from top to bottom … so I’m always looking to improve and I can improve, the people on my team can improve and the players can improve. So the standard is there for everyone.”

Click spent 14 years with the Rays, starting as a coordinator of baseball operations before becoming the team’s director of baseball research and development and director of baseball operations. He spent three seasons as vice president of baseball operations before Houston hired him.

Source: Aaron Judge, Yankees reach $360M, 9-year deal

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Aaron Judge has agreed to return to the New York Yankees on a $360 million, nine-year contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday because the deal had not been announced.

Judge will earn $40 million per season, the highest average annual payout for a position player. The contract trails only Mike Trout’s $426.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts’ $365 million pact with the Los Angeles Dodgers for biggest in baseball history.

Judge was offered a long-term deal by New York before last season that was worth $213.5 million over seven years from 2023-29. But he turned it down in the hours before opening day in April.

The 6-foot-7 Judge bet on himself — and won.

Judge set an American League record with 62 homers in 2022, powering the Yankees to the AL East title. He also tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs and just missed a Triple Crown with a .311 batting average.

New York was swept by Houston in the AL Championship Series, but Judge became the first AL MVP for the Yankees since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.

Judge, 30, was selected by New York in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft and made his big league debut in 2016, homering in his first at-bat.

A year later, he was one of baseball’s breakout stars. He hit .284 with 52 homers and 114 RBIs in 2017, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. The four-time All-Star has 220 homers and 497 RBIs in seven big league seasons.