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Report: Astros receive permission to interview Rays’ Andrew Friedman

Nov 28, 2011, 9:32 PM EDT

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

According to Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle, the Astros have received permission to interview Rays’ executive vice president Andrew Friedman for their general manager vacancy.

The Astros have requested interviews with “a handful” of other candidates for the job, but Justice hears that Friedman is their No. 1 target to replace Ed Wade.

As you may recall, the 34-year-old Friedman dined with with Angels owner Arte Moreno and team president John Carpino last month, though it’s unclear whether he seriously considered joining their front office. Many believe that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to lure Friedman away from Tampa Bay, as he is very close with owner Stu Sternberg. It’s hard to believe Friedman would join the Astros if he didn’t take the Angels’ job, at least from a pure baseball perspective, but it is worth noting that he is from Houston. Hey, stranger things, right?

Justice hears that two members of the Rangers’ front office — assistant general manager Thad Levine and senior director of player personnel A.J. Preller  —- are also believed to be under consideration for the job while former Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker will not be interviewed. Assistant general manager David Gottfried has replaced Wade on an interim basis.

  1. hittfamily - Nov 28, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. lyon810 - Nov 28, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    As compensation for poaching Friedman, the ‘stros should send Jordan Schafer and the hill in centerfield to Tampa

    • Bryz - Nov 28, 2011 at 10:11 PM

      If Garza and Buchholz have been rumored compensation for Theo Epstein going to the Cubs and John Farrell potentially going to the Red Sox, respectively, then the Rays might as well aim high also and ask for Bud Norris.

      • marinersnate - Nov 29, 2011 at 12:10 AM

        Or Chuck Norris.

  3. Chris K - Nov 28, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    I don’t get it? Like…what kind of advantage would this move make? Is Friedman just going to become victim of his own hubris?

  4. stex52 - Nov 28, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    It has been talked around the Houston press since July, but I have found it hard to believe until now. He is a Houston native, and they have always said he wanted to be in the Astros organization. But I don’t know how you can walk away from what they have done in Tampa Bay. They do amazing things.

    Besides, how good is a GM without a first class scouting organization? But we certainly use an upgrade at GM.

    • florida76 - Nov 29, 2011 at 1:27 AM

      Gotta look at this situation from Friedman’s perspective for a moment. He’s done a great job for Tampa Bay, but the respect and support from the community has been tepid at best. Also, the lack of support may soon impact the quality of the on field product. We must remember it took an epic collapse by the Red Sox for the Rays just to make the playoffs this season. The franchise could possibly relocate by the end of this decade to a location which may not appeal to him.

      Rays have had a remarkable run, even though the 2010-11 playoff appearances have been short-lived.
      Meanwhile, the new Astros’ leadership appears to have deep pockets and play in a more equitable division. So at the end of the day, Friedman has tangible reasons to consider leaving Tampa.

      • Reflex - Nov 29, 2011 at 4:04 AM

        I love how every single season you go on and on about how the Rays are getting lucky or making the playoffs due to the failures of others and that its all going to end soon. I called you out for this at the beginning of the season when you called the Rays a .500 team at best. I pointed out that the losses they had were not nearly as serious as it seemed, and pointed to several young prospects who would mitigate the loss of several stars. I said it was likely they would hit the playoffs again.

        And they did. Don’t forget the Rays are part of why the Red Sox folded, they beat them up quite a bit down the stretch. The Rays have made the playoffs in three of the past four years, including a division title. At a certain point this is just a consistently good team. I’m not saying they’ll maintain it forever, but at this point in the toughest division in the game, they are sustaining more success than almost any team not named the Phillies, Red Sox or Yankees across all of baseball.

        Its not luck. Its a well run team. You don’t win this much in that division because the rival teams were ‘bad’. The Yanks and Red Sox are two of the top five teams in the game every single season. The Rays have joined them.

      • dan1111 - Nov 29, 2011 at 5:27 AM

        I think Florida76 has some valid points. It will be very hard for the Rays to keep winning in this division. They haven’t been lucky–they been great at drafting and player development, as well as making smart low-cost signings. However, they face two problems going forward. First, the strength of their current core is partly due to the high draft picks they got when they were terrible. Obviously that won’t continue. Second, the Yankees and Red Sox also have smart management. The Rays could easily defeat poorly-run teams that spend a lot of money, but their competition develop talent, make smart signings, AND spend wads of cash.
        That will make it very hard on them. (This second point could change with the new Sox management, but I don’t think it would be wise to count on it).

        I agree that the Rays, no matter how well-run, will need a stronger fan base to consistently compete in the AL East. So far this hasn’t materialized, even after four years of success.

      • Reflex - Dec 1, 2011 at 4:30 AM

        You might want to look at what thier core is composed of. Very few were first round draft picks. Their real strength has been picking up and developing players from lower in the draft. Their top hitting and top pitching propsects right now were second rounders. Success won’t harm their ability to get good talents in the second through fifth round, something they’ve done consistently well for years now. Most of their first round picks have been flops.

  5. proudlycanadian - Nov 29, 2011 at 8:22 AM

    It makes sense to talk with him even if he is unlikely to move, just to pick his brain. His opinions would be quite useful.

  6. stex52 - Nov 29, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    The points made above make some sense. It is an outstanding organization for what it has done, but how long can you maintain if the fans don’t come? I am sure that Houston will line up for a winner.

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