Astros Front Office Changes

Everybody and his momma is a VP at my wife’s company. Some places it means more than others. No idea what the norms are in baseball.

She work for a bank? Everybody’s a VP at banks.

Massive insurance broker. Close enough.

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The VP title used to mean something. Not anymore. They are handed out to placate the masses and attract talent. That’s why you see all these descriptors being added. Senior VP. Executive VP. VP of Finance. Or HR. Or IT, etc… And titled “below” the traditional VP level; Regional VP or Branch VP or the like. And, in the business development world it’s even more ridiculous. The titles are handed out like tic tacs for client matching purposes so that BD people with a VP title can get in the door to see decision makers. They are not fooling anyone.

When I see some VP 5 years out of their MBA or the VP of XX for some 30 person startup, I just think to myself, “Mmmm hmmmm”…

When I was at Lockheed Martin, you had to be in management 20+ years and have at least an MS in some STEM discipline (not an MA ot MBA) or be the former president and CEO of some acquired company (and even they were looked down upon if they did not have the requisite creds).

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Meet new Astros assistant GM and director of player development Gavin Dickey.

  • hired as scout by Heck in 2011

  • became regional cross checker (2016) and national cross checker (2018)

  • then special assignment scout (2021)

  • hired in pre-analytics era, but has remained with the org as analytics have been incorporated. Wants to have strong blend of both.

  • interesting personal back story as two sport athlete (scholarship for QB at Florida) who had to make up for his own baseball lack of reps by studying.


So… multi-sport athlete at a major program, six years in the minors, hired under Wade, promoted under all of Luhnow and Click and Brown, extensive scouting experience and now running PD as well? How long before he’s GM somewhere, either here (under Brown as POBO) or somewhere else?

Good grief, man. The ink isn’t dry yet on his promotion papers, and you have got him moving on?

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It could happen before you know it! The Astros seem to make a new GM every few years—Stearns in ‘15, Elias in ‘18, Putila in ‘22. It speaks to the quality of the organization. Dickey has a standout resume and could be the next in that pattern, given a few short years’ success in his new role. I put a lot of stock in the fact that he’s moved up under multiple regimes here.

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Rome says the Astros have hired Royals and D-Backs scouting director Derik Ladnier to be the Astros new Senior Director of Amateur Scouting.


Um… are we talking about the same Royals? (/waves in general direction of supposed Royals “prospects”)

He drafted the players that made the Royals good in ‘14-‘15. Then he got fired and went to Arizona where he drafted the players who made them good in ‘23, while the Royals have cratered since he left. He’s got as good a history as you could ask for in a scouting director.

I think the real question isn’t his eye as a scout, but whether this is a sign of a changing approach to the draft. I’m putting early money on “no.” Brown ran the draft in ‘22 and the results looked a lot like what I would’ve expected under Click or Luhnow. I think he liked the Astros’ existing model and brought his own eye to it. I don’t think he’s bringing Ladnier on board to rock the boat. Just my WAG.

He just adds to the overall base. His input will be valued, he wont be assigned to the galley.

I almost said “he’s bringing him on board to steer the ship, not to rock the boat” but decided to give that draft the old heave-ho.

Eno Sarris reports that Sarah Gelles, Astros R&D director since 2019, has been hired by the Pirates as an AGM. That’s a real blow. I know Idaho Jim’s friend has spoken extremely highly of her.

Damn. Loved her in Buffy.

Eh? Oh.

Sucks to lose talent but you continue to see other teams go after our front office folks and that always speaks well of the org.

My “friend’s” take

This was entirely preventable.

She was supposed to get a promotion at the end of this season to be an assistant GM.

I even posted about how I was surprised that she did not get the promotion.

I do not blame her for leaving FWIW.

She was very well liked - also was very close to Martin Maldonado.

The Astros under Dana Brown has now let go or failed to promote the two highest female executives in the the organization.


I doubt than either decision was made by Brown w/o approval from Crane.

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If you hire someone to run an organization, you need to let them run the organization.


Can you tell us more about

“… was very close to Martin Maldonado.”

Farm director and MLB starting catcher. Not sure I understand the connection nor how it would have been relevant to the Astros. I am sincerely asking what it means.