Tampa Bay Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman was expected to have a lot of suitors in the offseason, including his hometown Astros as well as the Cubs.
While the Cubs have locked in on Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, the Angels have surfaced as another potential suitor for Friedman. ESPNLosAngeles, citing a source with direct knowledge of the Angels GM search, reported owner Arte Moreno and president John Carpino met with Friedman this week in St. Petersburg. The meeting was first reported by DRaysbay.com.
Foxsports.com's Ken Rosenthal reported on Twitter, citing a source, that Friedman is the Angels top choice. But apparently there's a long list of candidates still in the process. ESPNLosAngeles reported Moreno has also met with Yankees executive Damon Oppenheimer, are also interested in Diamondbacks assistant GM Jerry Dipoto, and are "keeping their eye on" Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine. They are also expected to talk with Kim Ng, a former Dodgers executive now working for MLB, according to ESPN.
Friedman has a policy of not discussing contract talks, including his own, and has not returned a message for comment on the Angels situation. The Rays haven't commented yet either.
It comes as little surprise a team would be interested in talking with Friedman, a hot commodity considering he's helped lead the Rays to three playoff berths in the last four seasons, including two American League East titles. And it's not surprising that Friedman would, at the very least, chat with an interested party if granted permission to do so.
But Friedman hasn't sounded like a man looking to go anywhere, including his comments earlier this month to the Times' Marc Topkin.
"As an organizational philosophy, we don't comment on rumors and speculation in any part of our business; there's no reason to," Friedman said. "My focus is on taking the learnings from the 2011 season and rolling them into the (Rays') 2012 team."
Manager Joe Maddon, heading into the last year of his contract, and Friedman both said they expect to stay together.
"For the last six years it's been a phenomenal working relationship," Friedman said. "I would expect and assume we're going to work together for a long time."