Astros hire Braves scouting executive Dana Brown as new GM

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  • Jeff PassanESPN


      ESPN MLB insider
      Author of “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports”

The Houston Astros named Dana Brown their new general manager Thursday, choosing the longtime scouting executive to shepherd the team after it let go of former GM James Click, the architect of the 2022 World Series champions.

Brown, 55, served as the vice president of scouting for the Atlanta Braves over the past four years, hitting on a number of draft picks. His 2019 draft in particular was a windfall, netting starting center fielder Michael Harris II in the third round, projected shortstop Vaughn Grissom in the 11th round and Shea Langeliers, the centerpiece of Atlanta’s trade for Matt Olson, in the first.

After interviewing a group that included former Miami GM Michael Hill, former San Francisco GM Bobby Evans and Cleveland assistant GM James Harris, the Astros chose Brown, who is now the only Black GM in the game.

Chicago White Sox president Kenny Williams is the other Black executive atop a team’s baseball operations structure.

Welcome to H-Town, Dana Brown! 🤘

— Houston Astros (@astros) January 26, 2023

Brown replaces Click, whose contract expired after the Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series. Negotiations on a new deal for Click fell apart after owner Jim Crane offered him a one-year deal, which Click rejected.

Click had joined Houston after Crane fired GM Jeff Luhnow in the wake of the team’s sign-stealing scandal, stabilizing the organization and adding to the deep talent base Luhnow had built.

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Crane served as a de facto general manager early in the winter, negotiating free agent deals for first baseman Jose Abreu and reliever Rafael Montero. He appointed assistant GM Bill Firkus as the baseball operations point person, and the Astros made one more move this winter as they re-signed veteran designated hitter Michael Brantley.

Brown’s scouting background aligns with the direction in which Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell, one of Crane’s top advisors, wants to take the Astros. Brown’s résumé as an evaluator runs well beyond 2019 or his stellar 2020 draft, in which the Braves snagged right-hander Spencer Strider in the fourth round.

Previously, Brown had worked as a special assistant to Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos, whom he followed to Atlanta. They had also worked together in Montreal, where Anthopoulos was a young executive and Brown was the scouting director.

“We are excited to have Dana join our organization,” Crane said in a statement. “He brings championship-caliber experience to our team and is the right fit for us to continue to deliver a winning franchise on and off the field.”

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