The Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly interviewed Rene Francisco as part of their ongoing search for a general manager. Tony LaCava is currently serving the role on an interim basis, while Ross Atkins of the Cleveland Indians has been linked to the job over the past month. Francisco is currently the assistant general manager of MLB and international operations with the Kansas City Royals. We’ll try not to hold that against him..too much.
Speaking on the Jeff Blair show earlier this week, Sportsnet’s Stephen Brunt stated his belief that the Blue Jays search for a general manager was nearing its end, if not already completed. It remains entirely possible that Mark Shapiro removes the interim tag from LaCava, the longtime Jay, but their interest in external candidates is a sign of further due diligence.
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Francisco, now 47 years old, has been with the Royals organization since 2006 after working as the Director of International Scouting with the Atlanta Braves. He also holds a further scouting background, primarily internationally, with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In an organization that has lost several key members of their scouting department over the past month, a mind like this would surely be welcome. Whether or not he’s GM material, though, is the item of debate. Under his watch, the Royals international scouting produced players like Salvador Perez and Kelvin Herrera.
In connecting the report from Brunt with the past tense of Rene Francisco having “interviewed” for the Blue Jays job, it seems that the organization’s search is in the latter stages, at the very least. With the MLB Winter Meetings set to open on December 6th in Nashville, it would be preferable to get any new face in the building as soon as possible with several needs that require addressing in the coming weeks. If that’s not the case, LaCava could still remain in his role until later in the offseason, or hopefully, in a full-time capacity.