The worst kept secret in Houston is new owner Jim Crane’s infatuation with Andrew Friedman, and Crane’s desire to hire Friedman to be the Astros next General Manager.
John Romano tackles this issue, and nicely lays out all the reasons Friedman would choose to stay with the Rays…
Friedman will stay because he will never find another working relationship quite like the one he has with Silverman and Sternberg. It is not just that he has autonomy, which he does. And it is not just that the three arrived with similar work backgrounds, which they did…The key is that they think alike. They share philosophical views. They are comfortable with one another, and that exists on a level well beyond the boxscore…So, no, I don’t think Friedman is looking for a greener lawn.
Romano goes on to speculate that the “only wild card” might be if Crane offers Friedman an ownership stake.
But wait. Romano also conveniently ignores the most important factor of all. This card is so big, it is not even wild.
It is unknown how much money Friedman makes with the Rays. But let’s assume he makes something in the neighborhood of $500 thousand per year.
Brian Cashman of the Yankees makes $2 million a year to manage a $200 million payroll. And Theo Epstein makes $1.5 million per year to manage a $160 million payroll. Both of those GMs are being paid about $500 thousand per $50 million in payroll.
Now let’s assume that Crane is really in love with Friedman. We mean, really in love. Like, the wallpaper on his iPhone is a picture of World B. Friedman with a big heart around it.
And let’s say Crane really wants to make a big splash in his first off-season, only there is no one player that will instantly make the Astros contenders. Does he give Free Agent X $15 million per year even though he wants the Astros to be analysis-driven like the Rays? Or does he offer to make Friedman the highest paid GM in baseball.
Let’s say $3 million per season. Considering what Friedman can do. That is a bargain. That is also a 500 percent raise over what Friedman is (hypothetically) making with the Rays now.
We don’t care if Friedman has Stuart Sternberg’s name tattooed on his buttcheek and “I Heart Matt Silverman” on the other. How many people do you know that will turn down a 500 percent raise?
If we were offered a 500 percent raise to go blog about pregnant primordial dwarfs that can’t get to rehab because their front door is blocked by 20 years of magazines and newspapers, you bet your ass we’d take the job.
So why wouldn’t Friedman go home and run his childhood team that sells tickets and plays in a beautiful ballpark? We’d all like to think that Friedman and Sternberg are like Frodo and Samwise, with some unbreakable bond.
But let’s face it, everybody has a price.