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.

  • Fishin Phil

    I say let’s have Tom throw a wad of money at him and see what happens.

  • Internet Random

    “Tompkin couldn’t ‘envision a scenario where [Friedman] leaves Tampa for Chicago.'”

    Tompkin hasn’t envisioned piles of money.

  • Chris

    “There is no chance Matt Garza is leaving the Rays organization.” – Tampa Bay Rays.

    • Dan0mite

      I was goin to post something just like this. Leading up to the Garza trade that was all you heard. Even Joe Maddon said there was no way Garza would get traded.

  • David

    I think a big question some of these superstar GM’s are going to ask Ricketts in the interview is about the payroll. Brett, what do you see the ML payroll settling into in the next few years after these contracts come off the books? $120M? $130M?

    • CubFan Paul

      $150million including the June draft ..so, $130-135million for the ML payroll

      i think any GM/Front office guy would look at Ricketts like he’s crazy (and cheap) if he wanted the payroll under $130million (because of the market, resources &team needs)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Everywhere you read says the big league payroll will settle around $120 million, but I think it could end up in a huge range, depending on what happens with the next GM. I’m working up a post now about the rebuilding process (which is Ricketts’ preferred route), which could take the payroll as low as under $100 million. I could also see it as high as $135 million, which is where it is this year.

      • CubFan Paul

        with the expected ‘dead weight’ of BigZ & Soriano’s contracts next year it shouldn’t drop, maybe go up a few a million, depends on how the new GM/Ricketts see the ‘dead weight’

        But Ricketts has to “want to contend” next year so i dont think he’ll hamper a new GM with a lowered payroll (stagnant spending as Hendry called it) nor do I think a Big name GM will take the job if Ricketts has plans to go Cheap anytime soon

  • Jeff

    Carl Crawford? gone, Carlos Pena? gone, Matt Garza? gone, Jason Bartlett? gone, Rafeal Soriano? gone. All were integral parts of the Tampa team, and traded or let go when they became too expensive. Andrew Friedman is going to get expensive, I fully expect him to listen about the Houston job, and see no reason he wouldn’t at least create more leverage by talking with the Cubs. The Rays are cheap, no way around it. They aren’t Florida Marlins cheap, but they don’t really spend a lot compared to other baseball organizations. If Friedman gets a big money offer from somewhere that also appeals to him personally, I don’t see him not at least taking a long look.

    • CubFan Paul

      supposedly, Friedman’s dad is part of the group trying to buy the Astros or is part of the ownership group, according to Olney, and being from Houston i wouldnt take him seriously when he comes sniffing around the Northside

      • hardtop

        trust me, no one from houston wants to go back… no one.

  • Spencer

    There’s an article on ESPN.com on Buster Olney’s blog that the Cubs could go after Theo Epstein, but I’m not an Insider so I couldn’t read the whole thing. Interesting idea, though.

    • EQ

      didn’t I just post this very same thing?

      • Spencer

        did you? didn’t see it, sorry.

  • EQ

    No prob, just being a dork.

  • Jeff

    Mr. Boston, aka Peter Gammons thinks that Theo Epstein would be interested in the Cubs job for some reason.

  • EQ

    wow.. well think about it, who wouldn’t want to be the guy who orchestrated the 1st Cubs World Series in 100+ years?? Can you imagine being that guy? Maybe the most famed GM success of all time?

    • hardtop

      that guy would be a hero in chicago (and most of the country). no one could touch him! not ditka, not halas, not banks, ryne, jordon, caray, payton… or even jake & elwood blues 😉
      i would name my own child after that guy… I think Theo is a cute girls name, dont you?

      • EQ

        heck yeah…!! and she’d be the most popular girl in school!

        • hardtop

          haha. maybe in chicago, but she’d take a lot of shit here in denver 😉

  • Jason

    I agree, Brett. What this reporter hopes will happen versus what may actually happen are completely different things. I’m guessing that at this point, he is reporting what he hopes will happen. He provides little evidence other than the fact that Fredman gets along with Rays ownership. What leads him to believe that Friedman won’t get along with Ricketts?

  • CUB5

    Friedman will get good money wherever he lands, so that’s not the issue. I think it comes down to personal relationships and where he wants to go. If his family has an interest in the Astros, then I see it as a no-brainer if he does decide to leave TB.

    • CUB5

      …though, I don’t want him in Houston building a contender if they are still in the division!!! :)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Money is an issue with respect to him staying or leaving Tampa, whom I don’t believe will pay him commensurately with what he could get on the market.

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