Blue Jays add ex-Astros GM Click to front office

February 27th, 2023

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Blue Jays made a major addition to their front office Monday, announcing that former Astros GM James Click has joined the organization as vice president of baseball strategy.

The 45-year-old led the Astros for three seasons, culminating in their 2022 World Series championship, but was offered only a one-year deal to return to the Astros, which he turned down.

Prior to joining the Astros, Click spent 15 years with the Rays, so he brings with him experience from two of the most progressive (and successful) front offices in baseball. With Tampa, Click rose to the role of vice president of baseball operations. Joining Toronto’s ever-expanding front office group, Click’s role will be far-reaching.

“In this role, Click will join the baseball operations leadership team, working closely with general manager Ross Atkins and department heads on strategic planning, decision making and evaluation,” the Blue Jays said in a release. “He will work across both professional and amateur levels to identify best practices, develop plans and implement strategies.”

Click, who joined the Astros’ organization after their sign-stealing techniques of 2017 and '18 were exposed in November 2019, played an integral role in retooling the rosters that won the World Series in '17 and fell just a game shy of winning another in ’19.

The Astros have reached the ALCS in each of the last six seasons, a remarkable turnaround after the organization won 56, 55 and 51 games from ’11-’13.

"I think whether it's bringing [Don Mattingly] in [as bench coach] or bringing James in, it just shows the confidence level that we're in this for the players," Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. "We're in this to try to make ourselves better."

Click's contract uncertainty quickly became a storyline following the World Series win of ’22, but when Click traveled to the GM Meetings, he spoke about how special his run with the Astros was.

“That was one of the most enjoyable experiences that I’ve ever had in my entire life,” he said. “I got here [at the GM Meetings] and so many people who haven’t been lucky enough to win the title came up to me and said, ‘Is this worth it, what we all go through and how much time we spend away from our families?’ I will tell you unequivocally, yes. It totally lives up.”

This is not the first time that the front office, led by Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins, has targeted an executive with a World Series track record. The club brought on Ben Cherington as their vice president of baseball operations from 2016-’19, a role he held until taking over as GM of the Pirates. Prior to his time in Toronto, Cherington led the Red Sox to the 2013 World Series as GM.