The Astros obtained permission to interview Rays executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, according to Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle. The Astros have asked to interview a handful of candidates, but Friedman, a Houston native, is clearly their top choice, according to Justice. The team dismissed GM Ed Wade less than two weeks after owner Jim Crane completed his purchase of the franchise.
Thad Levine and A.J. Preller of the Rangers are believed to be under consideration for the GM job as well. However, former Astros GM Gerry Hunsicker, who now works with Friedman and the Rays, will not be interviewed. Astros president and CEO George Postolos has explained that he's looking for a GM with a strong commitment to player development who can develop 'one of the top farm systems in baseball.'
It's not the first time a team with a GM opening has expressed interest in Friedman. This offseason alone, the Cubs, Orioles and Angels appeared to have some interest in the 35-year-old. It's "very unlikely" that Friedman will leave Tampa Bay, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.