One of the big subplots stirring up over the potential sale of the Astros is the possibility of a change at General Manager. Ed Wade has done yeoman’s work since taking over the job, but he’s hardly shown the creative aptitude needed to make the Astros a winner again. He also brought the Astros ideas like Kaz Matsui, starting second baseman.
So it should come as no surprise that the hot stove for the sale is also burning with rumors about a possible new GM. Jim Crane is said to have his eye on the Rays’ Andrew Friedman, who ironically is the son of J. Kent Friedman, the other person named as a potential owner of the Astros. Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated dug into the rumors in his latest column and gave Astros fans some reason for optimism:
The Rays’ Friedman told the St. Petersburg Times his father’s endeavor had "no bearing’’ on his efforts with the Rays. That surely is true for now, but if the elder Friedman gets the Astros, one would think he could have interest in hiring Andrew, one of the game’s better GMs, at some point. One of Andrew’s top lieutenants, Gerry Hunsicker, also was one of the Astors’ (sic) more successful GMs and is believed to have left because working for McLane wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
The St. Petersburg Times, in the column that Heyman references, points out that it’s not just J. Kent Friedman interested in bringing in Andrew:
There had already been speculation that Crane might try to hire Friedman, who like other top execs under Stuart Sternberg doesn’t have a contract.
It certainly would make sense that a new owner would clean house here in Houston, where the city has become disenchanted with the current group. It remains to be seen just how much validity there is to the hopes that Andrew Friedman will ride in and save the day, but it certainly does make plenty of sense on paper.