Andrew Friedman highly unlikely to take Astros’ GM job

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Andrew Friedman leaving the Rays for the Astros was always seen as a long shot, but now it sounds like Houston never really had a chance.

In fact, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times is hearing that Friedman “already has decided against taking the Astros job.”

Friedman is from Texas and obviously the Astros’ payroll leaves a lot more room to maneuver than he currently has in Tampa Bay, but his relationship with Rays management is said to be extremely strong and the Astros’ gig isn’t exactly very appealing from an organizational talent point of view.

Several of the Astros’ other GM targets have already turned down chances to interview for the job.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.