Astros has not requested permission to interview David Stearns

The Astros remain without a general manager less than a month into spring training. Owner Jim Crane fired former GM James Click early in the offseason after Click turned down a one-year extension offer following a World Series win. That came after months of friction between the owner and GM that left Houston’s front office in a state of uncertainty.

Crane appears to be in no hurry to find a new head of baseball operations. Speaking to reporters at the Houston Sports Awards tonight, the owner indicated he didn’t feel any pressure to move (link via Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome). “We’re still looking‘ said Crane. “We’re scanning the crowd right now. No, look, we’re still working on it. We take our time and do it right.”

Not surprisingly, Crane didn’t offer many details about the ongoing search. He noted that he considers candidates both inside and outside the organization. Perhaps most notably, Crane said he did Not approached the Brewers about an opportunity to interview David Stearns, former president of Milwaukee baseball operations, for a front office position.

Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported earlier this week that Houston was eyeing Stearns, who worked for the Astros before landing the top gig with the Brewers in 2015. Stearns held that post for seven years until retiring earlier this offseason. General Manager Matt Arnold, his longtime first lieutenant, took control of the baseball division. Stearns, who is under contract with the Brewers through the end of the 2023 season, has remained an advisor to Arnold and owner Mark Attanasio. In order for a club to hire or even interview Stearns before the end of next season, Attanasio must opt ​​out.

While Crane said he has not yet contacted the Brewers, he did not say if he intends to do so at any point in the process. Of course, it’s not clear if Stearns, 37, would be interested even if the Astros did reach out. When he announced his retirement in October, the Harvard graduate made it clear that he was “not going anywhere else in the short term” but Milwaukee, stressing he’s taking the opportunity to spend more time with his family with his lighter workload.

Some people have been known to be considered for the Houston job. Braves’ vice president of scouting Dana Brown, former Giants general manager Bobby Evans, Guardians assistant GM James Harris and longtime Astros catcher and former Tigers/Angels skipper Brad Ausmus have all become in recent days associated with the search. A USA Today report over the weekend hurt Brown as the front runner, but Rome hears from a source that it’s still too early in the process for anyone to have firmly established themselves at the top.

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