The Toronto Blue Jays could be close to naming their full-time GM ahead of the MLB Winter Meetings
Tony LaCava was a relatively welcome addition as the Blue Jays interim general manager following the departure of Alex Anthopoulos. This was largely due to the fact that LaCava represented some form of continuity in a time of great change, but he’s also been a leading force in the construction of Toronto’s 2015 playoff roster, both at the MLB and prospect levels.
According to Sportsnet’s Stephen Brunt, who appeared this morning on the Jeff Blair Show, Mark Shapiro and the Blue Jays are close to a decision on LaCava and the future of Toronto’s general manager position. “I think the process is either nearly complete or complete,” Brunt said.
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There have been rumblings and thin links established between the Blue Jays and several executives around the league, but LaCava’s primary competition seems to Ross Atkins, with “the field” trailing behind. Atkins worked with Shapiro in the Cleveland Indians organization, and currently serves as their Vice President of Baseball Personnel.
Naming an “outsider” to the role, especially one brought over from Shapiro’s old digs, would probably go over very poorly among Blue Jays fans and be met with the same “enemy until proven competent” welcome that Shapiro has received. That’s largely unfair and baseless, but, I digress.
From this past month, though, it’s difficult to argue against anything that LaCava has done. The uncertain Marco Estrada negotiations were handled very well, and still represent the biggest free agent contract of the 2015-16 offseason (It’s been a wild one..).
“My understanding is that the process is just about wrapped up,” Brunt added when he and Blair were joined by Jon Morosi, but Morosi wasn’t as certain. He suggested that LaCava could remain the general manager through a crucial month of December and into January, where a decision could then be made. He prefaced the opinion by stating he’s not really sure where the GM search stands, though. So.. I’ll put my dollar on Brunt’s words with this one.
Brunt also suggested that the upcoming Winter Meetings in Nashville beginning on December 6th could act as a deadline for the new GM to be named. I’m not terribly comfortable with an outside voice landing atop the Blue Jays front office on the day before the meetings open with so many pressing needs on the Blue Jays roster, though, which is why LaCava continues to stand as the best option here. At least for now.
Don’t expect news of any variety today with American Thanksgiving, and tomorrow could very well be a hushed day in MLB circles as well. Flip your radars up on Monday and Tuesday, however, because if a move is coming, that would be the ideal time for Toronto.