Astros new president and CEO George Postolos released a statement on Sunday night announcing that the organization has informed president of baseball operations Tal Smith, as well as general manager Ed Wade, of its decision to relieve them of their duties.
David Gottfried will serve as interim general manager for the time being as the Astros begin the search to permanently fill the position.
Gottfried is not a full-time candidate.
“With the change in ownership, we would like a fresh start in baseball operations,” Postolos said in a statement. “We have told Ed Wade and Tal Smith that we’re making a change. We recognize their dedication to the Houston Astros. We thank each of them for their significant contributions and years of service, and wish them our very best as they pursue new opportunities. The search for a new general manager begins immediately.”
Postolos stated that Houston plans to hire the best available candidate to fill the general manager position and someone committed to player development as a means for achieving sustained success.
“We are searching for a candidate who has the knowledge, skills and experience to build a winner, in addition to having a strong commitment to player development in order to sustain success,” Postolos said. “Our goal is to consistently compete for a championship, and we know the first step towards that goal is to develop one of the top farm systems in baseball. We will hire the best candidate available to achieve our goal. Our Assistant General Manager Dave Gottfried will serve as interim general manager until the new general manager is hired.
“Dave is not a candidate for the permanent position.”
The decision to relieve Smith and Wade of their duties comes as little surprise, especially since it has long been speculated leading up to Major League Baseball approving the sale of the Astros from Drayton McLane Jr. to Jim Crane’s group on Nov. 17.
Crane announced during a news conference at Minute Maid Park on Nov. 17 that he was going to conduct a full review of the organization and possibly make some decisions following Thanksgiving.
“Starting on Tuesday [Nov. 22], we will get in the office and begin to review everything, not only the baseball operations, but the marketing operations, as well,” Crane said. “We will sit down with all the executives and ask what we are doing right and ask what they think we are doing wrong. We’ll make some very quick adjustments. I think right after Thanksgiving, you will see us make a few moves. Right now, we’re going to sit down with everybody and get their input on where we are at.”
Crane stated baseball operations would be the core focus.
“We are focused on everybody, but I think that is going to be our core focus,” Crane said. “Our goal is to rebuild the minor league system. We’ll continue to focus on that. Once we get that solid, I think that will certainly help the big team continue to move forward.
“On the baseball side, that’s our first order of business. We need to look at what we have there and make decisions one way or another.”
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