Rays general manager Andrew Friedman was spotted last week having dinner with Angels owner Arte Moreno and Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that he’s their No. 1 target to replace Tony Reagins, but there’s plenty of doubt about whether Friedman actually wants the job.
In fact, according to DiGiovanna’s sources “their chances of luring the 34-year-old executive away from the Rays are slim” and “Friedman’s loyalty to Tampa Bay owner Stuart Sternberg … appears to be the biggest obstacle to the Angels luring him to Anaheim.”
DiGiovanna reports that the Angels would offer Friedman the role of team president, allowing him to choose a GM to work under him much like Theo Epstein is doing with the Cubs. And he’d also have more than triple the payroll to work with, as the Rays spent $42 million players this year compared to $142 million by the Angels.
Either he’s holding out for a better job–of which there realistically aren’t a ton, given the Angels’ annual payroll rankings–or Friedman truly loves Tampa Bay.
Earlier this year Disney agreed to purchase the majority stake in BAMTech, the digital media company spun off from MLB Advanced Media. We know it as the source of the technology for MLB.tv and MLB.com, but it’s far more wide-ranging than that now. At present it powers streaming for MLB, HBO, NHL, WWE, and, eventually, will power Disney’s and ESPN’s upcoming streaming services.
The company was started by an investment from baseball’s 30 owners, so they’re getting a big payout as a result of the acquisition. Earlier this morning Jim Bowden dropped this regarding how much of that payout is in the offing in the short term:
That’s probably on the low end, actually. Some people I’ve spoken to who are familiar with the acquisition say the figure is more like $68 million in Q1 of 2018.
Good for the owners! It was a savvy, forward-thinking investment that, in the past, baseball owners might not have made. Bud Selig, Bob Bowman and others deserve credit for convincing the Jeff Lorias and Jerry Reinsdorfs of the world to think big and long term. It’s money out of the sky, raining down upon the owner of your baseball team for, basically, doing nothing.
Money which should be remembered when your buddy complains about a relief pitcher getting $6 million for only pitching 65 innings. Money which should be remembered when your team’s GM says that he has to cut back on payroll in the coming year.