Rays Grant Houston Permission To Speak With Andrew Friedman About Astros General Manager Vacancy

The Tampa Bay Rays granted the Astros permission to speak with Andrew Friedman about their GM job, a position he is unlikely to accept if offered.

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Andrew Friedman Rumors: Astros Get Permission To Talk, Deal Still Unlikely

With their new owner coming in the door shortly, the Houston Astros have started to make some serious changes. They fired Tal Smith (President of Baseball Operations) and Ed Wade (General Manager) on Monday, and now they are beginning the search for replacements. And apparently, that search begins with Rays general manager Andrew Friedman:

#astros plan all along was to try to lure andrew friedman. #longshot. and when he says no, then conduct their search (Jon Heyman, ESPN)

It's highly unlikely that Friedman ends up going to the Astros, even though they have been given permission to talk with him and Friedman is a Houston native. Friedman has already been offered other GM positions this offseason -- the Angels job was the most intriguing -- but he's chosen to remain in Tampa Bay due to his close relationship with owner Stuart Sternberg and president Matthew Silverman.

Friedman is in a good situation in Tampa Bay. He is given free reign to work as he pleases, and he's built a front office full of some of the brightest minds in baseball. He works under little pressure, but he also faces a constantly challenging task in building a competitive team on a budget to face off against the Yankees and Red Sox. It's a great place for him, so it's not surprising that he's reticent to leave.

The Astros will begin conducting their GM search shortly, but their new management should get some credit for checking in on Friedman. It certainly never hurts to ask.


Rays Grant Astros Permission To Speak With Andrew Friedman

Late Monday night, Rays writer for the St. Petersburg Times Marc Topkin reported that Tampa Bay had granted Houston permission to speak with Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman about the Astros open GM job. With the sale of the Astros going through to Jim Crane, the new owner wasted little time firing GM Ed Wade and team president Tal Smith.

Friedman is expected to speak with the Astros but all indications are that he will remain with the Rays, given the success he's enjoyed and the strong relationships he has with ownership and the front office.. He has interviewed with the Angels in the past and remains one of the hottest GMs in the league. A Houston native, he is clearly the Astros first choice for their GM vacancy. While permission has been granted, it's unlikely anything will come of the conversations.

For more news, discussion, and analysis on the Rays, visit SB Nation's Rays blog, DRaysBay.


Report: Angels And Orioles Fill Their GM Positions, Andrew Friedman Remains With Rays

Despite all the initial hoopla about the Angels considering Andrew Friedman for their open General Manager position, it turns out that Friedman was serious when he said he doesn’t want to be anywhere else but Tampa. The most recently report from Ken Rosenthal suggests the Angels will name Jerry Dipoto as their new GM.

Dipoto served as Arizona’s interim GM after Josh Byrnes was fired back in 2010, and he was currently working as the D’back’s Vice President of Scouting and Player Development. He was one of the top executives on the market for a GM position.

So although the Angels courted Friedman and named him as their top choice, it appears even their deep pocketbook and large payroll could entice him away from the Rays. This isn’t entirely surprising news, as Friedman and Rays owner Stuart Sternberg have close ties, but it is comforting news for Rays fan nonetheless. If Friedman wasn’t willing to be wooed by the Angels, the odds of him leaving the Rays anytime soon are extremely slim.

Even if Friedman did want to leave, though, his options would be all but gone. Outside of the Angels, the Orioles were the only other team to have an opening at GM, and it appears they are likely going to hire Tony LaCava for their position. LeCava is currently serving as the assistant General Manager for the Blue Jays, so he’ll likely bring an intelligent perspective to the O’s.


Angels Remain Interested in Andrew Friedman, Chances He Joins Them "Slim"

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are still in the midst of their search for a General Manager, and Rays vice president Andrew Friedman remains at the top of their list of candidates. However, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times, it remains most likely that Friedman will remain with the Tampa Bay Rays:

The Angels remain highly interested in Tampa Bay General Manager Andrew Friedman, but their chances of luring the 34-year-old executive away from the Rays are slim, according to people familiar with the team's GM search who are not authorized to speak publicly on the topic.

The article goes on to state that Friedman's loyalty to Rays owner Stuart Sternberg is the largest obstacle. Friedman and Sternberg both joined the Rays together back in 2005, switching over from Wall Street to baseball. The entire Rays' front office seems to be a tight-knit bunch and Sternberg, Friedman, and Matt Silverman (the team president) are a night inseperable bunch. It's also been rumored -- although never confirmed -- that Friedman owns a share in the Rays, so he has more invested in the team than most other GMs.

The Angels are willing to offer Friedman the role of President, much like Theo Epstein's new role with the Cubs, and he would have considerably more financial flexibility than he currently has in Tampa Bay. But regardless, Friedman seems unlikely to switch allegiances at the moment. And if he's not willing to take on this role, it seems highly unlikely that Friedman will be moving anywhere in the near future.


Report: Rays Andrew Friedman Is Angels' Top Choice For GM

According to ESPN LA and Ken Rosenthal, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have a top choice for their open General Manager position: Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman.

Earlier today, SB Nation’s DRaysBay first reported that Angels owner Arte Moreno had met with Friedman over dinner on Tuesday night. This report has been confirmed from multiple sources, and it appears that the Angels are highly interested in having Friedman be their next General Manager.

But as Roger Mooney from the Tampa Tribune reminds us, the odds of Friedman actually leaving the Rays are low. He is in a favorable position with the Rays, given free reign to act as he desires, and he has a great working relationship with owner Stuart Sternberg, president Matt Silverman, and manager Joe Maddon. In Sternberg’s words:

“It would really only be because of the position the organization is in and what an uphill battle we have to go at it every year, Andrew loves climbing mountains, being an underdog, having to go at it, but at some point you want at least one of your hands not tied behind your back.”

As the meeting took place in St. Petersburg, it suggests that the Angels are very interested in Friedman. Who wouldn’t be? Friedman has transformed one of the most hapless franchises in baseball into a model franchise, making the playoffs out of the AL East three of the previous four seasons on a minuscule budget. Now that Theo Epstein is headed to the Cubs, Friedman is likely the most desirable General Manager “on the market”.

But is Friedman on the market? Is he even interested in joining the Angels? That’s impossible to say, and only time will tell.

For more on this story, see the original report and subsequent updates over at DRaysBay.


Report: Andrew Friedman Seen Dining With Angels Owner Arte Moreno

According to a reliable report, Andrew Friedman was seen with Angels owner Arte Moreno on Tuesday night. Are the Angels trying to make make Friedman their next GM?

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