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.
The Padres have released right-hander Phil Hughes. He was recently designated for assignment.
Hughes was traded from the Twins to the Padres at the end of May in a deal that was, essentially, the Padres acquiring a Competitive Balance pick and agreeing to pick up half of Hughes outstanding salary, which is $13.2 million in 2019. The Padres used him for 16 relief appearances but he was terrible, posting a 6.10 ERA.
The 32-year-old is a 12-year veteran. Given that he’ll basically be free to anyone who wants him, it’s not unreasonable to think he’ll get a non-roster invite to someone’s spring training next year, but it could very well be the end for him as well.