Why a GM Might Turn Down The Astros

I don't like it any more than you do. I saw that Jon Heyman tweeted White Sox Assistant GM Rick Hahn and Kim Ng both turned down interviews with Houston. If you're counting at home, that means of MLB Trade Rumor's top GM candidates, Houston has been turned down by Nos. 2, 3 and 10. No. 1 (Jerry DiPoto) already got a job, as did No 4 (Ben Cherington).

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That leaves No. 5 David Forst of the Oakland A's as the highest thought-of non-GM candidate not to turn Houston down.

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Phew. I thought they'd hit a rough patch there...

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The Astros interviewed No. 15 today in Bill Geivett and are interested in a couple of others who might've made the list. But, what I'm interested in is fleshing out why one of these guys might turn down a team like Houston. After all, it's a pretty small, insular group of jobs that don't always come open. It'd be like me turning down a big-time job covering the Tampa Bay Rays because I didn't want to live in St. Petersburg.

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But, there are other considerations. For these candidates, this is a once-in-a-lifetime shot. But, if they fail here, they might not get another chance. There's risk in taking any position, but these GM jobs are tricky. As we've acknowledged, Ed Wade didn't fail as the Astros GM so much as not being great at it. He did a good job, but good wasn't good enough.

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Guys like Rick Hahn may feel more comfortable waiting to get a shot with an organization he feels more comfortable with, with a farm system that's stronger or maybe just getting a shot at his own team, the White Sox. Ditto David Forst. 

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For Ng, the stakes are even higher. Not only would she be proving herself in her first job, but she's also the first woman to hold the job. Would you really want to set yourself up for that kind of pressure on this team with this roster? The best GM is going to have a heck of a time building Houston into a winner. What's a first-time GM going to do?

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There's a ton of uncertainty with these positions,which is why some candidates will turn interviews down. By turning down an interview, they don't get turned down for a job and thus, keep their cache. 

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