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Angels want Andrew Friedman, but the feeling might not be mutual

Oct 25, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

Andrew Friedman stands in the dugout prior to the continuation of World Series in Philadelphia

Rays general manager Andrew Friedman was spotted last week having dinner with Angels owner Arte Moreno and Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that he’s their No. 1 target to replace Tony Reagins, but there’s plenty of doubt about whether Friedman actually wants the job.

In fact, according to DiGiovanna’s sources “their chances of luring the 34-year-old executive away from the Rays are slim” and “Friedman’s loyalty to Tampa Bay owner Stuart Sternberg … appears to be the biggest obstacle to the Angels luring him to Anaheim.”

DiGiovanna reports that the Angels would offer Friedman the role of team president, allowing him to choose a GM to work under him much like Theo Epstein is doing with the Cubs. And he’d also have more than triple the payroll to work with, as the Rays spent $42 million players this year compared to $142 million by the Angels.

Either he’s holding out for a better job–of which there realistically aren’t a ton, given the Angels’ annual payroll rankings–or Friedman truly loves Tampa Bay.

  1. bigleagues - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    As has been mentioned in previous discussion of Andrew Friedman, he is essentially an ‘at will’ employee of the Rays, working without a contract.

    There must be something more to his deal in Tampa than just fierce loyalty to Sternberg . . . like the promise of an ownership stake at some point.

    OK, so maybe he doesn’t want to work and live in and around Anaheim. I can understand that. But if he turns down enough of these perceived as financially better situations, then I, for one, will just be more and more perplexed.

  2. lyon810 - Oct 25, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    Everyone needs to stop saying how the Rays had a payroll that was just $42m compared to the $142m of the Angels. Difference is the Rays spent $42m wisely, whereas the Angels squandered most of it (Torii, Abreu, Rodney, and I’m sure I’m missing someone…).

    • southpaw2k - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:25 AM

      You mean like Vernon Wells?

      • lyon810 - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:40 AM

        No, that’s money well spent. Try again

      • lyon810 - Oct 25, 2011 at 2:37 PM

        Ya that was the obvious joke, yes, but are we not forgetting Sarge jr?

    • Joe - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:05 PM

      I think the point is that with the Angels, Friedman would see what he could do if he had $142 million to spend wisely, instead of the $42 million he now enjoys. That might have some appeal, no?

      • paperlions - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:05 PM

        Exactly!

      • lyon810 - Oct 25, 2011 at 2:32 PM

        Yes and no. I feel that more money could only serve to cloud one’s (anyone’s) judgement. That said, he could accept a bigger role and tons more money for the job, but there is something to be said and admired of someone who achieves more with A LOT less. Gotta respect that, and maybe that’s what is more important to Friedman.

        It’s anyone’s guess really. I’ve been a Halos fan for 15 years, and I would love nothing more to than to see them land Friedman, but it seems to me there is more to this guy than a huge payday and blank checks to throw around at his discretion.

      • paperlions - Oct 25, 2011 at 4:30 PM

        As a GM, if the availability of money to spend clouds your judgement, then you don’t have good judgement to begin with.

  3. statsdonotlie - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    How about $23M on Vernon Wells? That change your mind?

  4. indaburg - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    The objective observer in me thinks that Friedman is insane for passing this opportunity up. Bigger payroll for his team, better pay for himself, better job title, good fan base (but not rabidly so like Boston, NY, or Philly so it isn’t a pressure cooker), great Cali weather.

    The Rays fan in me is glad that he is insane. Maybe the cowbells have affected his thinking.

    • Kyle - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:10 PM

      Both the objective observer and Mariner’s fan in me agrees with you on both points 100%

  5. APBA Guy - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    It could be simpler than that. I can say from experience that not everyone who grows up on the East Coast has an interest in moving West. It could also be a combination of that and the magnitude of the job before him, in turning a team around that has so many fossils like the Angels do, and in Friedman’s assessment of the coaching and field management situation in Anaheim. Friedman strikes me as pretty clear-eyed in his thinking. He also is not a self-promoter in the press, so will we ever really know what are his decision criteria?

  6. deep64blue - Oct 25, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    He’s holding out for the Astros job, having been brought up in Houston. Probably has a nod and a wink deal with Crane already …

    • lyon810 - Oct 25, 2011 at 2:36 PM

      Even the Astros job is too monumental a task for Friedman to undertake all his own. An virtually non-existent farm system, and nothing of promise at the major league level.

      Not to mention their front office up and down the organization seems too out of order, and I doubt Friedman or any other GM would want to join that chaos.

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