Over the past season, the Tampa Bay Rays have had numerous rumors swirling surrounding their upper management. First owner Stuart Sternberg was potentially a candidate to buy the Mets, and then general manager Andrew Friedman was supposedly interested in becoming the general manager of the Astros. All of these rumors were based on speculation and nothing more, as the Rays are notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to rumors concerning their front office.
In other words, there had never been any actual indication that anyone within the Rays' hierarchy was interested in leaving. All of that changed today when our friends over at DRaysBay reported that Andrew Friedman was seen dining in downtown St. Petersburg with Angels owner Arte Moreno:
On Tuesday night, one of our readers was at a restaurant in downtown St. Petersburg when he saw Andrew Friedman dining with Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim team owner Arte Moreno and another individual he later identified as team president John Carpino. This individual lives locally so Friedman is no strange face to him, and he immediately recognized Moreno when walking by their table. Both he and the friend he was dining with feel extremely confident in what they saw, and confirmed after another walk-by and an internet search that the third person at the table was team president John Carpino.
We do not know the nature of the conversation between Moreno and Friedman, only that they were seen together dining in St. Petersburg and talked for over an hour and a half.
The Angels have begun their search for a new general manager, and MLB Trade Rumors does not list Andrew Friedman among the current rumored candidates. However, if both Moreno and Carpino flew to St. Pete to meet with Andrew Friedman, that suggests their conversation was more serious than a simple offseason chat. Teams don't fly the two most important men in their organization across the country on a passing whim.
We will have to wait and see if this report if confirmed, but in the meantime, it looks like Friedman is at least seriously considering other positions. After Theo Epstein's huge deal from the Cubs, Friedman is likely thinking to himself that he can make quite a fortune by testing the market.
For more on the report, read the full writeup over at DRaysBay.