Is Rays’ GM Andrew Friedman Anaheim-bound?

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I’m angry at DRays Bay. Oh, they’re a fine blog and in this case they have a neat little news/gossip item that could be pretty significant, so that’s all good. No, I’m mad that they took the “my best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this girl who’s going out with the guy who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it’s pretty serious” joke that I was gonna totally use here.

Oh well, it’s a long winter so I’ll have more chances.

Anyway, this seems stronger than “Theo Epstein spotted at Starbucks”:

On Tuesday night, one of our readers was at a restaurant in downtown St. Petersburg when he saw Andrew Friedman dining with Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim team owner Arte Moreno and another individual he later identified as [Angels] team president John Carpino … We do not know the nature of the conversation between Moreno and Friedman, only that they were seen dining together in St. Petersburg and talked for over an hour and a half. However, the timing does line up well with the Angels’ current search for a General Manager.

I was gonna say “well, maybe those two just happened to be in St. Pete and wanted to have dinner.”  But I’ve been to St. Pete a bunch of times and I’d have a hard time envisioning a reason why anyone would want to go there just for giggles. Maybe Arte Moreno’s mileage would vary on that, however.

Report: Astros, Michael Brantley agree to two-year, $32 million contract

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros and outfielder Michael Brantley are closing in on an agreement for a two-year contract in the $32 million range.

Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.

Brantley’s health, though, is why he had to settle for a two-year deal as opposed to a longer contract for a player of his caliber. He will take over in left field. In the event Brantley succumbs to injury woes, the Astros have top prospect Kyle Tucker waiting in the wings.

Update: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who also reports that the deal is in place, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH. That opens up some more playing time for Tucker.