Friedman is Astros dream candidate

Tampa Bay's Andrew Friedman could be first on Houston's GM wish list. J. Meric/Getty Images

The Houston Astros’ house cleaning has begun in earnest.

It should come as little surprise that the Astros announced late Sunday night general manager Ed Wade was fired and that president of baseball operations Tal Smith will retire. Wade’s firing isn’t necessarily a commentary on his tenure with Houston; Jim Crane paid more than $600 million for the Astros, and he has earned, or at least bought, the right to have his people running the show.

New team president and CEO George Postolos reiterated that sentiment Sunday, saying, "With the change in ownership, we would like a fresh start in baseball operations," and he and Crane could have their pick of two prime candidates.

I would expect the Astros to pursue current Tampa Bay Rays GM Andrew Friedman, who grew up in the Houston area and is well-respected for the job he has done with the Rays’ limited payroll and awkward stadium situation, all the while competing in the tough American League East. Of course, this is all predicated on Rays owner Stu Steinberg granting Crane permission to approach Friedman.