Assistant GM Levine to remain with Rangers
May take on expanded role, including director of farm system
ARLINGTON -- Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine has decided not to interview with the Astros. He may end up with an expanded role with the Rangers.The Astros asked for and received permission earlier this week to interview Levine for their general manager opening. On Wednesday, Levine issued a statement through the Rangers that he was taking himself out of the running for the position. He will remain with the Rangers as Jon Daniels' assistant and could oversee the club's farm system as well. The Rangers have been looking for a farm director after Scott Servais left to become assistant general manager with the Angels. The Rangers have discussed the possibility of Levine undertaking an expanded role that will include the farm system. "My family and I have happily decided to forego any current outside opportunities and remain part of the Texas Rangers family," Levine said. "We are extremely appreciative of all the opportunities that Jon Daniels, Nolan Ryan and ownership have provided to us. Winning a championship and bringing it home to the Metroplex remains my singular focus."
The Astros could approach the Rangers for permission to interview A.J. Preller, who is their director of player personnel. Right now, Rays general manager Andrew Friedman is the only known candidate for the Astros position.The Rangers have also interviewed former Astros general manager Tim Purpura for their farm director opening. Purpura was the Astros' assistant general manager from 1997-2004 under Gerry Hunsicker and also served for seven seasons in the dual role of farm director. The Astros were named the Major League Organization of the Year in 2001 by four different entities. Potential internal candidates include Jake Krug, who has been with the Rangers for nine years and has spent the past two seasons as Servais' assistant, while Mike Micucci has served as Minor League field coordinator. The Rangers have multiple Minor League officials with Major League playing experience, including Double-A manager Steve Buechele, Triple-A coach Spike Owen, special assignment coach Casey Candaele and special assistant Harry Spilman. Purpura has a long relationship with Ryan, who owns both Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Corpus Christi. Round Rock was an Astros farm team from 2000-10 before changing affiliation to the Rangers. Corpus Christi has been the Astros' Double-A team for the past seven years. The Rangers are hoping to name a farm director before the Winter Meetings start on Monday in Dallas. The Astros are not expected to have their new general manager in place by then.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.