Blue Jays making World Series champion Astros hire should spook Yankees

World Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Houston Astros - Game Two
World Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Houston Astros - Game Two / Bob Levey/GettyImages

After Monday morning's breaking news, both the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays have reinforced their front offices this offseason.

The Yankees cushioned Brian Cashman's heated seat with the hiring of Brian Sabean, the former Yanks exec who captained the San Francisco Giants to three titles at the start of the 2010s, as well as Omar Minaya, who crafted the 2006-07 New York Mets, and is respected throughout the game.

The Blue Jays? They went full new-school on Monday, emerging as the landing spot for ex-Houston Astros GM James Click, who was bizarrely nudged away from the team following a dominant World Series win, led by a relentless, Click-assembled pitching staff.

For whatever reason, egomaniacal Astros owner Jim Crane set a divorce in motion as soon as the 2022 season ended, insulting Click with a phony one-year extension offer meant to be rejected in early November. It was assumed Click wouldn't be on the shelf long, and it's the Blue Jays who will be the lucky benefactors, hiring the ex-Astro as "Vice President, baseball strategy" just before the regular season.

Yankees add Brian Sabean, Blue Jays add former Astros GM James Click

Yes, this is a way scarier move than Daulton Varsho.

The only "saving grace" here for the Yankees is that Click won't be bringing his secret weapon, pitching whisperer Oz Ocampo, along with him. Ocampo, often credited with uncovering arms like Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier for pennies on the dollar, moved onto Miami this offseason to become an Assistant GM with the Marlins.

That faint silver lining aside, Click very obviously represents another step forward for a Blue Jays front office that clearly isn't afraid to spend on top-tier talent or cash in the farm system for trade targets when the opportunities present themselves. GM Ross Atkins just polished off an offseason centered around a rededication to defense, as well as a belief that Varsho is a player approaching his peak. By most accounts, the losses of power in Toronto's lineup (Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Teoscar Hernández) will be outweighed by improvements across the diamond.

It's possible it all goes wrong. Varsho might not repeat as the game's top defender, and might be unable to overcome the swing-and-miss in his game. Kevin Kiermaier and George Springer may get hurt once again, leaving the outfield cupboard bare. Jose Berrios might not bounce back the way most are anticipating. But the addition of Click gives Toronto another devilish analytically-driven mind who should be able to guide things back on track. The Jays have set themselves up well to have plenty of bites at the apple, and if anyone out there knows what it takes to steer a roster like this to the finish line, it's Click, who just did it.

Any time the GM who crafted the most recent 106-win World Champions is available for hire, you should probably hire him. Hopefully, the organizational familiarity of Sabean brings the Yankees to the same place, but it's possible he ends up another Cashman yes man rather than a check on his power. Click would've brought something distinctly different to the table.