Astros owner Crane installs son to executive role amid front office shakeup

Outgoing Houston Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan, who has been reassigned to a new position of executive advisor for business relations

The Houston Astros have continued a sizable month of change in which owner Jim Crane has installed his son, Jared, to help oversee the Major League Baseball club’s business operations and shifted Reid Ryan to a new role of executive advisor for business relations.

Reid, the team’s president of business operations since early 2013, will now focus on other business ventures involving the Astros. The team insisted in a statement that Ryan will stay “an important part of the Astros organization.” During the past six-plus years, Ryan played a key role in the revival of the Astros into MLB’s winningest team over the past three seasons, and he nearly doubled the club’s annual attendance during his tenure.

Jared Crane does not have any prior experience in sports team operations, contrasting sharply from Reid Ryan, who in addition the Astros tenure is also an owner of the club’s top minor league affiliate, the Round Rock (Texas) Express. Jared Crane previously was a credit analyst, worked in energy, and most recently was a regional vice president in the elder Crane’s business, Crane Worldwide Logistics. The younger Crane did have a role as president of the Astros’ charitable foundation.

“I am confident that our executive leadership team will continue to deliver on the great fan experience and customer service that we have always been committed,” Jim Crane said.

The move is designed in part as a long-term succession plan for the club and maintain family control of the Astros. The elder Crane, 65, is still in good health, but has begun to think about his future.

Immediately following the move, Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, Reid’s father, said he would end his tenure as an executive advisor to Crane and the Astros, providing a bitter coda to the front office shifts.

The Astros’ senior leadership shift comes as it late last month lost a heartbreaking seven-game World Series to the Washington Nationals, dropping all four home games at Minute Maid Park during the set, including a Game 7 in which it was eight outs away from a championshiop. 

Still, the club has a series of projects in store for 2020, including the development of a new high-end social club at the ballpark. 

During the World Series, the Astros also dealt with the self-inflicted chaos surrounding a taunting incident by now-fired assistant general manager Brandon Taubman. 

“While my role has changed, I will remain with the Astros and look forward to another great season in 2020,” Ryan said.