Friedman, 34, has gained an excellent reputation in the industry for fielding a team that annually contends in the American League East with a payroll that does not compare to those of the megapowers in New York and Boston. The Angels have not commented on the report.
Owner Arte Moreno and team president John Carpino met last week in Florida with Friedman, whose $42-million payroll with the Rays this season was nowhere close to what Boston, New York, Philadelphia and the Angels spent on players. Fourth on the list, the Angels devoted $141.7 million to payroll in 2011, while finishing second in the AL West for the second year in a row to Texas -- which was one win away from a World Series triumph on Tuesday.
Friedman, the report claims, appears to be the top choice to replace Tony Reagins, who resigned as GM two days after the season. But Tampa Bay owner Stuart Sternberg has called Friedman "a partner," which seems to have complicated the Angels' pursuit.
To land Friedman, the story goes, he would be offered a position as club president, with another candidate hired as GM.
The Angels, according to the Times, have interviewed Jerry Dipoto, Arizona's senior vice president for scouting and player development; New York Yankees executives Damon Oppenheimer (vice president of amateur scouting) and Billy Eppler (director of professional scouting); Chicago White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn, and former New York Mets GM Omar Minaya.
Kim Ng, a senior vice president for Major League Baseball's baseball operations, reportedly will be interviewed this week. Texas assistant GM Thad Levine also could be interviewed after the Rangers finish the World Series. Former Dodgers GM Dan Evans has been under consideration, but has not been formally interviewed.
The Angels were denied permission, according to the report, to interview Detroit Tigers assistant GM Al Avila and Florida vice president of player personnel Dan Jennings.
The team did not seek permission to interview San Diego manager Bud Black.
The new GM will be allowed to hire a new assistant GM, player-personnel director and farm director.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.