After hearing several reports that new Astros owner Jim Crane wants Andrew Friedman to be the next General Manager of the Astros, we now have our first report that Friedman may be interested in the job…

Richard Justice had this to say a short while ago (via Twitter):

Andrew Friedman has left some of his friends with the clear impression that he would love to be the next GM of the Astros.

At some point you have to wonder if Friedman sees the Rays as a hopeless situation, with a stadium situation that won’t be resolved anytime soon. And if that is true, and if Friedman does like the idea of returning home to run his hometown team, this may be his only opportunity to do so.

That’s worrisome.

But even more troubling is this: if Friedman is seeing the writing on the wall, isn’t Stuart Sternberg seeing the same thing? And that is scary.

 
 

13 Comments

  1. Thad says:

    You know what they say, “Buy Low, Sell High”:

    1) Things can’t get much higher than what Friedman (and others) have done to lead the Rays resurgence. It would be an excellent time for Friedman to try to monetize that success for his own gain.

    2) Things can’t get much lower than where Houston is right now as an organization. Friedman could only improve that situation. It cannot get any worse from the big league club to the depleted farm system.

    3) Translation: Friedman might become the highest paid GM in the game this offseason. Either from Uncle Stuey to keep him or Crane to lure him away. It’s just simple economics.

    Some would say, “Why leave such a great situation at the Rays?” I would say, “Why not cash in on Rays success and do the same thing all over again for a team that can spend a lot more money and plays in a much weaker division?”

    And who’s to say he doesn’t take Maddon with him after 2012. I’m sure he would have major say in the manager position.

  2. Martin B says:

    If I had to choose between what is scarier, losing Sternberg as an owner or having to pay for a stadium with taxpayer dollars in a time of economic crisis, I’d say paying for the stadium is scarier.

  3. Jordi says:

    I totally agree. After all, this ownership group comes from the theory of buying low, fixing, then selling high. It is a philosophy of moving to the next project. Never stop moving. Short of getting a new stadium, the Rays are as good as they are going to get as a franchise. They may win more one year than another, but that is insignificant to the franchise, which is in great shape.

    Friedman helped fix it. In his mind, it might be time for him to find the next challenge.

  4. dustin says:

    These are fair points, but it should be kept in mind that the Astros are, as an organization, about as bad as they could possibly be. There’s very little talent on the major league team, there’s not much more in the farm system, and they’re saddled with at least one utterly awful contract (Lee’s). That is to say, the ‘stros might actually be in worse shape right now than were the Rays when the Sternberg/Friedman team came in. I know there’s more money and (I’m told) a better stadium in Houston, but the Astros are a mess. I doubt that even someone as astute and innovative as Friedman could turn things around within the next five years. I’m not saying that he wouldn’t be intrigued or tempted to give it a shot. I’m just saying the odds of success are long, and Friedman must know it.

  5. dustin says:

    Also, did y’all see that Perez has been released? Any chance the Rays pick him up? I’d be happy to see him around again for reasons more sentimental than competitive.
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/07/cubs-release-fernando-perez-.html

    • Sarah says:

      I concur. If we’re going to have a team of guys who can barely hit .200, let’s at least have articulate guys with a good sense of humor hitting barely .200.

  6. Greg says:

    I think there is a system in place with the Rays that is bigger than just Friedman. If he leaves, we’ll be fine. Sternberg and Silverman will find another good person to carry on in a similar fashion. It takes a lot of people to dig up the type of players for which the Rays are looking, so it’s not just Friedman.

    • Daredevil says:

      I agree, Friedman has helped set up the Rays ethos, but he can be replaced. I’m not saying I would like to lose him. However, several of his decisions of the last few years have not turned out well:
      1) Pat Burrell
      2) Kelly Shoppach
      3) The non-trade for Jason Bay 2 years ago that could have got us in the playoffs.
      4) The dubious signing of Wade Davis to a large multi-year contract.
      5) The Cory Wade fiasco. Wade should be in our bullpen, not the Yankees’.
      6) The Bartlett trade. Russell and Ramos are terrible, and they looked that way last year and in Spring Training too, yet they stick with them to save face. Maybe Gomes and the 4th player will pan out.
      7) Friedman sits on propects too long while washed up players sit on our roster (Sonnanstine).

      I only mention this to say that Friedman makes plenty of poor decisions, and he is not the “slam-dunk perfect” GM that he is often made out to be. Sure, every GM makes what turns out to be bad decisions,but my point is: Friedman is replaceable.

      • pete says:

        The Jason Bay trade would have happened in 2008. Judging the Bartlett trade and the Davis signings this quickly would also be foolish. also sitting on an established major league player is a much better idea then hedging your bets on a prospect who will more then likely fail.

        • Daredevil says:

          Pete: thanks for catching my mistake on Bay. I guess what I was thinking was that trade could have helped us win the World Series. As for Wade Davis, his minor league stats were unremarkable. His first year in the bigs was okay. His stuff is okay. None of that screams out to me “big long-term contract”. We should have saved that money for other signings (ex. Hellboy), and now we are stuck with Davis. I was critical of the Bartlett trade because Ramos & Russell never looked good in their pro careers, and I was also being critical of Friedman for putting them on our opening day roster when they had awful Spring Trainings. Sonnanstine should have been demoted when Cory Wade’s opt-out came due. Wade had proven with the Dodgers that he was an excellent pro reliever (before his arm injury), and his outstanding numbers in Durham this year proved he was healthy. He is now doing very well for the Yankees instead of us. We don’t need a long-man anyway.

  7. Tone says:

    I am over having any concern for the Rays’ future. Obviously there are many unpleasant outcomes to Sternberg’s unhappiness and it is completely out of our control. We just have to enjoy it now and live in the moment.

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