Friedman, Levine in Astros mix
The Astros have asked for permission to speak to Tampa Bay Rays general manager Andrew Friedman and Texas Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine about their GM vacancy, a source has confirmed for MLB.com.
Friedman, who has guided Tampa Bay to the playoffs three times in the last four years in the rugged American League East, is a Houston native who could be lured to return to his hometown and help the Astros return to respectability. Friedman is 35.
Levine, 40, is in his sixth season as the Rangers’ assistant GM, taking the position following the 2005 season. He assists GM Jon Daniels in player acquisitions, roster composition, contract negotiations, statistical and financial analyses and the day-to-day management of the baseball operations department.
Astros president and CEO George Postolos had no comment.
Houston owner Jim Crane, who took control of the club a week ago after purchasing it from long-time owner Drayton McLane, has spoke of his admiration about the way the two-time defending AL champion Rangers rose to prominence through scouting and player development. The Astros are trying to follow a similar blueprint.
Another Rangers executive, senior director of player personnel A.J. Preller, is also reportedly on the Astros’ radar as they try to fill a position left vacant when Ed Wade was dismissed following a club-record 106 losses in 2011.