Rangers grant Astros permission to interview Thad Levine

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Just as the Rays did with Andrew Friedman, the Rangers have granted the Astros permission to speak to Thad Levine about their general manager opening, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.

Levine is the Rangers’ assistant general manager, working under Jon Daniels for the past six seasons.

It seems fairly obvious that Friedman is the Astros’ first choice, but few people seem to think he’s legitimately interested in the job despite being from Houston.

Levine would be a very good fallback option and the 40-year-old Virginia native has filled just about every possible front office role between his time with the Rangers, Rockies, and Dodgers.

I’m also rooting for the Astros to hire Levine just so Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle could cover him. They would immediately become my mother’s favorite team.

It’s official: Brandon Hyde named new Orioles manager

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It was not a secret that the Orioles wanted Cubs coach Brandon Hyde as their new manager. Reports swirled three days ago that he was going to get the job, though the Orioles denied it, calling them “premature.” Now, however, it’s official: the Orioles just announced that Hyde will be their new manager.

Hyde, 45, spent four seasons as a player in the minors with the White Sox from 1997-2000, then played in the independent Western League in 2001 before ending his playing career. He was a coach with the Marlins from 2010-12 and has been with the Cubs since 2013, most recently as their bench coach.

Hyde takes over for Buck Showalter, who led the Orioles from 2010-18. Last season Baltimore finished 47-115, posting its worst record in team history. To say that Hyde’s order is a tall one is an understatement.