Report: Astros receive permission to interview Rays’ Andrew Friedman

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According to Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle, the Astros have received permission to interview Rays’ executive vice president Andrew Friedman for their general manager vacancy.

The Astros have requested interviews with “a handful” of other candidates for the job, but Justice hears that Friedman is their No. 1 target to replace Ed Wade.

As you may recall, the 34-year-old Friedman dined with with Angels owner Arte Moreno and team president John Carpino last month, though it’s unclear whether he seriously considered joining their front office. Many believe that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to lure Friedman away from Tampa Bay, as he is very close with owner Stu Sternberg. It’s hard to believe Friedman would join the Astros if he didn’t take the Angels’ job, at least from a pure baseball perspective, but it is worth noting that he is from Houston. Hey, stranger things, right?

Justice hears that two members of the Rangers’ front office — assistant general manager Thad Levine and senior director of player personnel A.J. Preller  —- are also believed to be under consideration for the job while former Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker will not be interviewed. Assistant general manager David Gottfried has replaced Wade on an interim basis.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.