The White Sox are on the look out for new leadership in their baseball operations, following the firings of their executive vice president and senior vice president/general manager. According to a recent report, candidates include a member of the Blue Jays front office.
As per Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the White Sox are interested in the Blue Jays' vice president of baseball strategy, James Click. Other names apparently under consideration, include the Phillies' Preston Mattingly and internal candidate Chris Getz.
A desirable candidate
In respect of Click specifically, it is understandable why he would be a prime target. He has an excellent reputation and long-term association with Major League front offices, dating back to 2005 when he joined the Rays as an intern.
The Durham, North Carolina native was subsequently hired by the Rays the following year, as a baseball operations coordinator. Over the next 14 years with the organization, he worked his way up to eventually become vice president of baseball operations.
This led to an opportunity Click couldn't turn down, signing a three-year deal in 2020 to become general manager of the Astros. The opportunity presented itself as a result of the fallout from the sign-stealing controversey, which saw previous general manager Jeff Luhnow lose his job.
Owner Jim Crane was impressed with what Click offered to this organization. As per Chron, at the time Crane said:
"James has had an impressive career. He is a respected leader who has progressed in the game across all aspects of baseball operations, and he has built great relationships with both front office and clubhouse personnel."
Deserving of one than one year
The Astros owner proved to be right in his hiring, as the team went on to appear in three AL Champions Series, win two AL Pennants and one World Series over the next three seasons. As such, the subsequent decision to only offer Click a new one-year deal following the 2022 campaign was a surprising -- and arguably insulting -- one. (Especially right after winning the World Series.)
The 45-year-old made the understandable decision to decline this offer, and move on to pastures new. This turned out to be to the benefit of the Blue Jays.
Click signed a deal with the Blue Jays in February of this year, to become vice president of baseball strategy. As per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager Ross Atkins said:
"We were exceptionally excited that he chose us. I know he had choices and options."
How likely is it Click leaves?
The question is, how feasible is it that the White Sox can persuade Click to join their organization? One clue comes in his preference for stability and security.
While not officially confirmed how long the contract with the Blue Jays is for, it makes sense it is longer than the one year the Astros offered. In addition, you have to imagine the deal was for multiple years to entice the Yale University graduate to sign, especially given the competition for his services.
Really though, it comes down to what Click himself said, when speaking about his role six weeks after being hired. As per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, he said:
"The role itself was designed to be fairly broad and to give me and the Blue Jays freedom. Part of the appeal is that this is a situation where I can foresee myself being here for quite a long time. It's obviously a very exciting, very talented team."
While you can never say never in the world of Major League Baseball, the signs point towards Click not leaving the Blue Jays. He both gives and wants loyalty, thus leaving so soon after arriving in Toronto would seemingly go against one of his core principles.