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Brad Ausmus is said to be among the GM finalists for the Astros

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Earlier today, The New York Post’s John Heyman reported that the Astros have no fewer than three finalists for their GM vacancy: Braves vice chief scout Dana Brown, GM Assistant Regents James Harris and former Giants GM Bobby Evans. This is not an exhaustive list, but Jose de Jesus Ortiz of Our Esquina does Tweets Former Astros catcher, Tigers/Angels manager and (most recently) A’s Brad Ausmus is also among the finalists. Bear Ortiz, Brown and Ausmus are the favorites for the job.

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Jumping straight into the GM chair would be a first for Ausmus, though it wouldn’t be his first stint at a major league front office. Ausmus was a front office special assistant for the Padres shortly after retiring as a player, and filled a similar role with the 2018 Angels under then-General Manager Billy Eppler.

Since retiring, however, the bulk of Ausmus’ experience in the game has come as big league tackles. That includes a four-year stint as manager of the Tigers from 2014-17 and 2019 as captain of the Angels. He spent the 2022 campaign as coach on the bench under newly appointed A-captain Mark Kotsay, but Ausmus Turn down an offer From the team to return for the second season in this position. Ausmus’ decision to turn down this offer came only a week ago ESPN’s Jeff Bassan reported that Ausmus traveled to Houston to meet with former teammate Jeff Bagwell, who was a key advisor to owner Jim Crane and had some influence in the baseball team’s decisions.

At the same time, there are renewed connections with former Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns, who worked as an assistant for GM in Houston before being hired as general manager in Milwaukee more than half a decade ago. writes Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that Crane maintained some interest in bringing Stearns back to Houston.

As has been the case every time Stearns has been rumored as a possible fit to fill another vacancy—the Mets called him up in two separate seasons, for example—there are notable caveats to consider. While Stearns stepped down as president at Milwaukee, he remains under contract with the Brewers through the end of the 2023 season. He no longer manages baseball operations but remains an advisor to new GM Matt Arnold and owner Mark Attanasio.

Furthermore, Stearns appeared at the Brewers’ press conference to announce the adjustment of the hierarchy of baseball operations and clearly stated that he was “not going anywhere” and planned to stay in Milwaukee. That was several months ago, of course, and Stearns hasn’t laid down a specific timeline for returning to baseball operations — or even whether he plans to pursue such opportunities at all. However, since he is under contract, the Brewers will need to give the Astros permission to meet him, and Milwaukee may demand compensation for the player if Stearns leaves before his contract is concluded.

The Astros worked without GM this season after parting ways with World Series winner James Click after this season. Click’s rejection of what many saw as the offer of a symbolic one-year extension came on the heels of countless reports about growing friction between GM and Crane.

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