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Click leaves Rays to become Astros' GM

@juanctoribio
February 3, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG -- Just months after losing to Houston in the American League Division Series, the Tampa Bay Rays have now also lost a top executive to the Astros. The Astros hired Rays vice president of baseball operations James Click as their new general manager, replacing Jeff Luhnow, who was

ST. PETERSBURG -- Just months after losing to Houston in the American League Division Series, the Tampa Bay Rays have now also lost a top executive to the Astros.

The Astros hired Rays vice president of baseball operations James Click as their new general manager, replacing Jeff Luhnow, who was dismissed after a Major League Baseball investigation confirmed the organization engaged in illegal sign stealing during the 2017 season.

“We wish James and his family well, and we thank him for his 15 years of great work with our organization,” Rays majority owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement. “The departure of another talented senior Rays executive is difficult. That difficulty is compounded by the timing of the departure, only days from the opening of Spring Training.”

To Sternberg’s point, losing a top executive just a week from the start of Spring Training is never ideal, but the Rays remain confident that they’re in good hands under senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager Erik Neander.

Click joined the Rays' organization in 2005 as an intern before becoming a full-time employee in ‘06. He, along with Peter Bendix and Carlos Rodriguez, had just been promoted to vice president of baseball operations, replacing Chaim Bloom, who was hired by the Red Sox as their chief baseball officer in October.

“A large number of former Rays staffers now populate senior team positions across the league,” Sternberg said. “We have great organizational leadership, strong faith in our ability to regenerate, and we have supreme confidence in the men and women who will be stepping up into their newfound opportunities and responsibilities.

With Click’s departure, Neander and the Rays will have to make some adjustments to the front office, though no drastic moves are expected.

“That is the Rays way,” Sternberg said. “It is who we are, it is what we do.”

Pitchers and catchers report to the Rays' Spring Training facility in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Feb. 12, and the first full-squad workout is scheduled for Feb. 18.

Juan Toribio covers the Rays for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @juanctoribio.