Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Report: Father of Tampa Bay Rays' Andrew Friedman looking to buy Houston Astros

The father of Tampa Bay Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman is heading a second group seeking to buy the Astros, MLB.com reports.

Another group, headed by Jim Crane, already has exclusive negotiating rights. Kenny Friedman, according to the report, already has been approved by MLB.

While Friedman's group is interested in buying the team, it sounds much more like a backup plan if Crane's deal does not go through, which some think could happen sometime this season.

Friedman told the Houston Chronicle that he recognizes Crane is the clear frontrunner: "I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly my application went through the Major League Baseball process and how quickly a number of investors rallied to the cause and said 'if you're going to do this, count me in," Friedman said. "If we had a few more weeks, I think we could have put this all together in a way that would have been very appealing to Drayton. But he's chosen to enter into a period of exclusive negotiation with Mr. Crane, not surprising given how far ahead they were in this deal, and so now we'll just wait and see what happens."

And McLane told the Chronicle: "Jim Crane is the only person we're negotiating with now.''

Even if Friedman's group got the team — which would create some questions in Houston since he is head of the agency that is essentially the team's landlord ­— it doesn't mean that Andrew Friedman would leave the Rays. (For what it's worth, under Stuart Sternberg's ownership, the top executives do not have contracts.) Interestingly, there also has been speculation in Houston that if Crane got the team he would try to hire Friedman, and/or Gerry Hunsicker, the former Astros GM who now works for the Rays as well.

Here is the MLB.com report:

Houston attorney Kenny Friedman confirmed Monday night he's spoken to Astros owner Drayton McLane about putting together a group to try to buy the Astros.

Friedman, the father of Tampa Bay Rays general manager Andrew Friedman, said Monday he has a group of investors lined up to make a possible proposal to McLane, but acknowledged he has to wait and see what happens with Houston businessman Jim Crane, who is trying to buy the club.

"It's been just a very short period of time, just a few weeks, but I've been very pleased with the response we've gotten from a number of people," Friedman said. "I understand they recently entered into an exclusive negotiating period with Mr. Crane and his group, which is not surprising. They're well ahead in their efforts. I'm going to continue to keep pushing until someone tells me not to."

McLane on Monday acknowledged the agreement with Crane, but said nothing is imminent. "We have an agreement where we're talking with Jim Crane right now, but have not reached an agreement with him," McLane said.

Friedman, a senior partner in the Houston office of Dallas-based law firm Haynes and Boone, is chairman of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority. He said he's already been approved by Major League Baseball.

"We have a number of investors that are major investors," Friedman said. "We have a number of people that have said, 'If you need a deal, I think we're in good shape.'"

Friedman was asked about his confidence to put a deal together if Crane doesn't buy the team. "My confidence is 100 percent," he said. "I think it would take us a few weeks to put together a solid deal."

McLane announced in November he was accepting offers for the sale of the club he purchased over 18 years ago, and he said he desired local ownership.

Crane is the CEO and founder of Houston-based Crane Capital Group.

McLane said in December 2009 that he'd had a tentative agreement with Crane to purchase the Astros following the 2008 season, but a deal couldn't be reached.

Crane previously bid to purchase the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers. The negotiations are being handled by Steve Greenberg of Allen & Company, a New York-based investment bank. Greenberg said in March he was in discussions with multiple parties and that the process was "closer to the finish line than we are the starting line," but didn't acknowledge Crane's interest.

Report: Father of Tampa Bay Rays' Andrew Friedman looking to buy Houston Astros 05/03/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 1:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jordan Spieth wins British Open (w/ video)

    Golf

    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Matt Kuchar plays out of the bunker on the 18th hole and finishes with bogey for 1-under 69. He had a one-shot lead after 13 holes.
  2. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  3. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  4. Rays journal: Rays gamble on Sergio Romo's track record, heart

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Some of RHP Sergio Romo's numbers this season with the Dodgers were the worst of his career, yet the Rays feel he can be a good fit for their bullpen.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26:  Sergio Romo #54 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch in the 9th inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on June 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
  5. Rays claim not to be panicking after third straight brutal loss to Rangers (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was no "here we go again" moment in the dugout as Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the eighth inning arced across Tropicana Field and toward the rightfield seats, even though when it landed, the score was tied and another late-inning Rays lead was blown.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after fouling out in the ninth inning with the potential tying run on first.