After James Click’s departure from the Astros’ front office right after the World Series, the Astros had been without a general manager. With owner Jim Crane making decisions in company of other executives, they finally named someone to replace Click as Dana Brown was hired to be the new GM.
Even though the front office already reassembled the team for the 2023 MLB season and took the most difficult choices, Brown will have plenty of work to do in the short run.
1. Round up the team for 2023
If you look at the Astros roster, you won’t find too many holes. They have a solid rotation, a great lineup especially with the José Abreu addition, and their bullpen is one of the league’s best.
However, there are still some moves Brown could decide to do such as adding an insurance low-cost starter who can step in if someone gets injured or a utility to strengthen the bench and not give the full-time job to Mauricio Dubón, who’s played over 100 games just once in a four-year career.
Brown could check what’s left in the open market and see whether the Astros can sign someone else who brings value to the squad.
2. Be aware and prepare for future free agents
The Astros will have to focus on a long 162-game regular season before free agency opens again. But when that moment comes, Brown needs to be prepared to execute and keep the Astros’ contention window wide open.
In the 2022-2023 offseason, the team will have Michael Brantley, Martín Maldonado, Héctor Neris, Ryne Stanek, and Phil Maton as free agents, though Neris does have a club option in his current contract. While Brantley and Maldonado may be expected to leave due to their age, the three cited relievers would leave a great hole in the Astros bullpen.
Besides their own potential free agents, the open market will be as interesting as possible – Shohei Ohtani, Aaron Nola, and Josh Hader are among the big number of stars that will hit free agency.
3. Always set to improve
You never know what may happen throughout a six-month season – injuries, underperformances, and off-the-field issues, among others. That’s why Brown should take a close look and take action if the Astros need a boost via trade at some point in the regular campaign.
With Houston trying to defend the World Series championship, Brown needs to be alert and pull the trigger if necessary. Also, he’ll need to determine who can become expendable in the minors and/or the big-league team to trade for pieces that can help in needed areas.
But time will tell how Brown performs as the new key man in the Astros organization.