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.

Report: Athletics to acquire Stephen Piscotty from the Cardinals

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Athletics and Cardinals have agreed on a trade involving outfielder Stephen Piscotty. The Cardinals will receive two as yet unknown minor leaguers in return.

Piscotty, 26, hit .235/.342/.367 with nine home runs and 39 RBI in 401 plate appearances for the Cardinals this past season. He dealt with injuries and with his mother’s ALS diagnosis, so it was a rough year, but very excusably so. The Cardinals had signed him to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension in March. He’s under contract through 2022 at a total of $29.5 million and has a club option for 2023 worth $15 million with a $1 million buyout.

The Cardinals had an outfield spot open up after agreeing to acquire Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins on Wednesday so the Piscotty trade doesn’t come as a surprise.