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Rays looking at former Astros GM Hunsicker

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Devil Rays will hire former Houston Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker to be a member of the Devil Rays' restructured front office in a noon ET press conference on Thursday, reports ESPN Insider's Jerry Crasnick.

Tampa Bay is looking for a new general manager, but it's unclear
what role Hunsicker would fill. Indications are that he would not
assume the title of GM, a position that has been vacant since the
Devil Rays fired Chuck LaMar last month.

Hunsicker, who was with the Astros for nine seasons before
resigning last year, did not immediately return a telephone message
seeking comment.

Hunsicker helped assemble a Houston team that reached the NL
Championship Series in his final season of 2004. The Astros won the
pennant this year before being swept by the Chicago White Sox in the World Series.

New principal owner Stuart Sternberg took over control of the
Devil Rays from former managing general partner Vincent Naimoli
last month. Among Sternberg's first moves were to fire LaMar and
expand the duties of young executives Matt Silverman and Andrew
Friedman.

The 29-year-old Silverman and 28-year-old Friedman have been
leading the search for a new manager. They trimmed the list of
candidates to three finalists on Tuesday, and Hunsicker is expected
to help them decide between former New York Mets manager Bobby
Valentine, Los Angeles Angels bench coach Joe Maddon and incumbent
Devil Rays bench coach John McLaren.

The 55-year-old Hunsicker was in the running to become
Philadelphia's GM until Pat Gillick was hired by the Phillies on
Wednesday.