Locals in Tampa Bay are undoubtedly hopeful that wildly successful Rays GM Andrew Friedman will stay with the team through a Winter where he’s expected to be in heavy demand around baseball.

And, according to one writer, those locals don’t have to worry.

Tampa Bay beat writer Marc Topkin told CSN’s Dave Kaplan that Friedman’s relationship with Rays’ ownership is so strong that Tompkin couldn’t “envision a scenario where [Friedman] leaves Tampa for Chicago.”

Topkin noted that Friedman’s father is part of a group trying to buy the Astros, which, if that group is successful, could help lure Friedman to Houston. But Topkin thinks even in that case, Friedman is unlikely to leave Tampa Bay.

Friedman, who is being called by some as the biggest free agent on the market this offseason, has reportedly told friends that he would strongly consider taking the vacated Astros’ GM job. Either Topkin doesn’t believe those reports, or Friedman’s stance has changed in the intervening months. In any event, it suggests there’s a chance Friedman might be willing to listen to offers. And if that offer is for a whole lot more money in the much more winnable NL Central? Who knows.

I do know this: if a local beat writer goes around saying that the sky is falling and the young, superstar GM is probably going to leave the organization, that beat writer isn’t going to be very popular with his readers, even if he ends up being right.



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