Report: Astros can interview Rays GM

The Houston Astros have been given permission to interview Tampa Bay Rays general manager Andrew Friedman, according to the Houston Chronicle, as the Astros' front office goes through a transition under new ownership.

Houston fired general manager Ed Wade and team president Tal Smith on Sunday night in the first of the changes promised by new owner Jim Crane.

Friedman is regarded as one of the top GMs in the game after helping the Rays reach the postseason three of the past four years despite having one of the lowest payrolls in the game.

Friedman is considered to be the Astros' top choice to join their front office, even though the newspaper reports the club has asked permission to inteview other candidates.

Despite previously interviewing with the Angels for their front office opening, it's believed, the Houston Chronicle reports, that it would take an extraordinary offer for Friedman to consider leaving Tampa Bay due to his close relationship with Rays owner Stu Sternberg, president Matt Silverman and manager Joe Maddon.

The moves to fire Wade and Smith comes less than a week after the sale of the Astros from Drayton McLane to Crane was officially completed.

In a news conference on the day owners approved the sale on Nov. 17, Crane vowed to meet with all the executives and "make some very, very quick adjustments."

And he did, with the Astros announcing the moves late Sunday night in a statement from new team president and chief executive officer George Postolos.

Assistant general manager Dave Gottfried will serve as interim GM, but will not be considered for the permanent job.

On Tuesday, MLB.com reported the Rangers have asked for and received permission to interview Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.