The Cubs will soon begin their search for the next general manager. Tom Ricketts will certainly be looking to hire someone with experience and previous success in the league. Theo Epstein and Brian Cashman have been some of the top names mentioned, but one quite candidate is Tampa Bay Rays general manager, Andrew Friedman. The young general manager was hired by Tampa in 2005.
Working with a very small payroll in a small baseball market, Friedman has produced a winning team the past four years. The Rays current payroll this past season is $41,932,171 (according to MLB.com). Cashman and Epstein have had four times the amount of money to spend compared to Friedman. But still, the Rays have a contending team in a very competitive AL East. The Rays have posted a winning season the past four years, including a trip to the World Series in 2008. It has been a very impressive past few years for Friedman, competing against big market teams.
Unlike New York and Boston, Tampa has built their team around their draft picks. Friedman has been responsible for the drafting of All-Stars David Price and Evan Longoria and many other players who contribute to the team. The Rays currently have three prospects in Baseball America’s top 50 prospects.
If Friedman came to Chicago his money to spend would triple. Friedman should be considered as a serious contender for the Cubs. A lot of people can build a winning team with almost 200 million dollars to spend, but few can build a contending team with only 42 million to spend.